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Old 01-13-2011, 05:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Isuzu/Utilimaster vehicle a Sprinter replacement?

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Originally Posted by jdcaples View Post
Hell, even my neighbor's mop has a battery, a tank and an electric squirt pump.


-Jon
Funny you mention the mop, Jon!

Business has been ultra slow to nothing these days and with that said, I began my quest to clear the air of my home of excess crap. One of those things I came across was a battery powered mop. That thing was in the box and I have no idea where it came from. i gave it to my neighbor who was happy to take it. Come to think of it, the whole concept of that mop is to have you buy more of the manufacturers pads to operate it.
Unfortunately, I am intertwined in the internet with my name all over the place. Funny what you find when you "Google" your own name. My smartphone use over the years may have been a contributing factor. Plainly put, I simply don't like it, but that is the way life seems to be heading as you mentioned. I do believe one way or another some database will get each one of us's info on this planet. The only way to aviod such, is to pay cash and not sign up for anything.
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Old 01-13-2011, 05:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Isuzu/Utilimaster vehicle a Sprinter replacement?

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Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
...and the one in your Sprinter's key fob.

--dick
yeah, you're right....

I should rephrase: The only RFID chip with PII, is my passport. My debit card doesn't have an RFID chip in it, as far as I can tell. There's also an RFID chip in my employer-issued security card, but I don't technically own that... or rather, since I'm a shareholder, I guess I own some fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the object.


-Jon
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Old 10-30-2011, 02:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Isuzu/Utilimaster vehicle a Sprinter replacement?

Update on this thread from:
http://www.utilimaster.com/Newsroom.aspx?id=93
Reach link: http://www.utilimaster.com/Reach/ReachMain.aspx?id=342

10.25.2011

Launch of the All-New Reach Commercial Van Begins with Dedication of Utilimaster Plant

Wakarusa, Ind. – October 25, 2011 – Utilimaster Corporation, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPAR), and a market leading manufacturer of walk-in vans and commercial truck bodies for the Delivery and Service market; and Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., the distributor of America’s best-selling low-cab-forward trucks, today announced they will celebrate the launch of the ReachTM commercial van with a plant dedication at Utilimaster’s headquarters located in Wakarusa, Indiana.

Executive leadership from Utilimaster and Spartan Motors, Inc., as well as from Isuzu Commercial Truck of America and Isuzu Manufacturing Services of America, will commemorate the plant dedication and product launch with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and gift exchange. They will be joined by customers, government officials, media and special guests for the occasion.

“The Reach represents a great opportunity to impact our customers’ businesses, significantly reduce both fuel consumption across their fleets as well as their carbon footprint,” said John Forbes, President of Utilimaster Corporation. “Today is the culmination of a focused program that benefited from the global resources and powertrain capabilities of Isuzu, and the market-specific knowledge and product development capabilities of Utilimaster.”

Introduced in March 2011, the Reach – with a body designed by Utilimaster atop a rugged Isuzu NPR ECO-MAX chassis powered by Isuzu’s legendary 3.0-liter diesel engine – offers the functionality of a custom-built work truck along with the styling and ergonomics of a cargo van, while achieving 35 percent better fuel economy than a traditional commercial van. The Reach offers best-in-class mileage and meets the latest EPA emissions standards, yet still provides true commercial truck capabilities and delivers a dramatically lower cost of ownership than traditional walk-in vans.

Commenting on this occasion, John Sztykiel, President and CEO of Spartan Motors, said: “The continued diligent work of everyone involved on this product has positioned us for further growth in the delivery and service market. Today we celebrate the success of this team and their ability to produce a sustainable product that meets the duty-cycle demands of our customers, improved safety performance and driver ergonomics, as well as an exceptionally low cost of ownership.”

Powering the Reach is Isuzu’s state-of-the-art, bio-diesel fuel compatible 4JJ1-TC 3.0-liter turbocharged engine, mated to an Aisin medium-duty six-speed automatic transmission. Both the engine and transmission have class-leading B10 durability ratings of 310,000 miles, meaning that 90 percent of units will reach that mileage before requiring an overhaul.
Utilimaster guided the development of the Reach’s aerodynamic shape, along with its use of composite materials, which together improve fuel efficiency and reduce interior noise. The lightweight composite materials provide a 700-pound weight savings compared to traditional aluminum and steel materials. The Reach van also employs impact-resistant composite panels that are designed to reduce overall maintenance costs. In the event of a collision, the vehicle’s lower body cladding can be easily and quickly replaced, reducing costly downtime.

The Reach is offered in a 151 inch wheelbase – and two body lengths – 12 and 14 feet. With an interior up to 27 inches higher than a conventional Domestic van, and ten inches wider than imported vans, the cargo area of the Reach offers 540 or 630 cubic feet of storage, depending on the body length selected.

Unlike typical cargo vans, the Reach design allows the driver to quickly enter the cargo area without leaving the vehicle. An array of modular vocational packages affords buyers a choice of factory- or field-installed options that are designed to take full advantage of the van’s expansive aisle width and headroom. In addition, the Reach is the only van to offer either rear swing doors or an integrated, composite roll-up door.

10.31.2011
Elkhart Truth: Utilimaster unveils truck to be built in Wakarusa

....
Utilimaster has put the Reach production in an existing building and created an assembly line of 22 stations. Production begins with an Isuzu chassis, which is basically four tires, an engine and a steering wheel, then progresses forward until each component, including the roof, seats, dashboard and windshield, is installed. At the end, the finished Reach undergoes a final audit.

When the plant is running at capacity, it will work in two shifts and be able to make 20 trucks per shift, said John Susil, the Reach project launch director at Utilimaster.

To accommodate the Reach, Utilimaster has hired more engineers and added about 25 jobs to support the start of production, Forbes said. And, as the work grows, the number of employees will likely double.

However, the Reach assembly jobs will only be in Wakarusa until mid-2012. Spartan Motors is planning to shift the entire production line to its plant in Charlotte, Mich. This move makes sense, Forbes said, because it will put the Reach body assembly closer to the chassis operation.
....

From Spartan Motors SEC 2011 10-K at p 30:

"In addition, in late December we delayed shipment until 2012 of certain walk-in vans in order to affect updates to meet certain regulatory safety requirements. Based on the likelihood that no recall would be necessary to modify affected walk-in vans already in operation, as well as the immaterial amount of a potential recall campaign, we did not accrue any liability in 2011 for future repair or retrofit costs related to this regulatory safety requirement."

HKP comment> Utilimaster spent over 5 years planning for this introduction, built a production line in Wakarusa, IN, started production in 10/2011 (1st delivery was 1/2012), then plans to move all the production to Charlotte, MI by end of second quarter 2012. This would be a waste of money if looking at if from Utilimaster's side of the equation. Why did this happen? As far as I can tell, when Spartan Motors bought out Utilimaster, part of their plan was cost reduction by shutting down the Wakarusa plant in favor of new plant Bristol, IN (who provided incentives) and consolidation of Reach production in an existing Utilimaster facility. So Utilimaster's costs were sunk and built into the purchase price of the company. From a Reach buyer viewpoint, 2011 and 2012 Reaches might not be the best model years to purchase given the start-up, shut-down and start-up errors and learning curves. So maybe FedEx's "large" (later quantified at 400) purchase of Reaches may be a good thing for the rest of the buying public and Reaches' quality reputation.

Last edited by hkpierce; 07-15-2014 at 04:18 PM. Reason: Updated
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Old 11-01-2011, 12:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Isuzu/Utilimaster vehicle a Sprinter replacement?

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Update
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Thanks. It looks like a nice rig, but it's more commercial looking than I thought originally. Clearly it's not a substitute for a Sprinter for most people. vic
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:09 AM   #15
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Default Re: Isuzu/Utilimaster vehicle a Sprinter replacement?

$62,000 for a 151" wheel base Reach:

REach.JPG

That makes it quite a bit more than a cargo Sprinter and multiples of Ford/Chevy cargo vans (ignoring things like capacity, height and the like).
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