Carlson Engineered Composites acquired by New Flyer

Canada-based New Flyer, the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer in North America, acquires one of its suppliers for US$13 million.

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New Flyer Industries Inc. (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, has acquired Carlson Engineered Composites Inc. (Winnipeg) and the assets of its US affiliated companies for US$13 million.

Carlson manufactures fiberglass composite components primarily to original equipment manufacturers of transportation vehicles and agricultural equipment, with sales exceeding US$38 million. Carlson currently employs more 300 people at three production facilities totaling 235,000 ft2 and located in Winnipeg; St. Cloud, MN, US; and Anniston, AL, US.

Carlson’s business began in 1985 with industrial and custom part fabrication, from which evolved a line of fiberglass composite water and sewage tank products. The business later expanded with the introduction of a line of truck caps and other recreational vehicle parts. Carlson then became involved in the development and supply of parts and sub-assemblies to the transportation industry.

“The acquisition of Carlson will allow us to control of one of the more critical commodities in our manufacturing supply chain,” says David White, New Flyer Group’s executive vice president, supply management. “As we think about the businesses of Carlson and Frank Fair Industries Ltd., the Winnipeg FRP business owned by Motor Coach Industries Limited since 1991, we can explore sharing best practices in composite part manufacturing, optimizing processes, and pursuing new technologies.”

White also says, “This acquisition follows on the very successful repatriation and in-sourcing of various metal part fabrication, machining and painting operations across the company to control quality, improve delivery performance and reduce costs for our bus manufacturing operations. Carlson’s U.S. facilities will also contribute to the company complying with the increasing U.S. content requirements under increased Buy America regulations resulting from the 2015 FAST Act for the purchase of transit buses and motor coaches by U.S. federally funded transit agencies.”

Neil Carlson, founder and chairman of Carlson Engineered Composites Inc., comments, “We are very proud to have become a leader in providing complex fiberglass components to transit buses. Our team has developed a tradition of integrity, execution and profitable growth and has been committed to maintaining a competitive advantage through education, innovation and technology. We have admired New Flyer and followed their growth into the US with Carlson facilities dedicated to support their operations. Joining the New Flyer family is the next logical step to support further growth and explore new technologies.”