REV Group® Announces Plans to Shift KME® Production to Other REV Fire Group Facilities

MILWAUKEE, WI — September 10, 2021 — REV Group, Inc. (NYSE: REVG), parent company of leading designers and manufacturers of best-in-class specialty vehicle brands, announces the transition of KME Fire Apparatus production to other REV Fire Group facilities over the next year, which will allow improved lead times, quality, and delivery for KME customers.KME has long-served municipal, state, and federal markets across the U.S. with its diverse range of custom apparatus including Aerial, Industrial, Pumper, Rescue, Tanker, and Wildland products. KME is renowned for its quality engineering, custom manufacturing, and dedication to deliver on customers’ specific apparatus needs. From its Tractor-Drawn AerialCat with Steel-Safe technology to the new X-Series Custom Pumper, KME consistently innovates to provide custom configurations based on unique fire department requirements.

“The KME brand has a rich and enduring legacy. Our commitment with this transition is to preserve the legacy by continuing to deliver to our customers and dealer partners what they have come to expect from the KME brand through their many years of valued loyalty to KME,” said Kent Tyler, president, REV Fire Group. “This shift in production locations enables us to better access our broad operational expertise and resources, provide custom engineering, enhance quality and improve delivery times by leveraging the advanced manufacturing capabilities that we have through the REV Fire Group network.  New and current KME customers can be assured that our commitment to manufacturing excellence will continue to bring quality and value to KME fire apparatus.”

Orders currently in progress will be manufactured at the KME facilities in Nesquehoning, PA and Roanoke, VA, with production expected to be completed by April 2022. Orders not yet in production and new incoming orders will be transferred to other REV Fire Group manufacturing facilities. Each order will be reviewed with the respective KME dealer and end-user customers immediately following today’s announcement. In addition, KME is meeting with employees from the Nesquehoning and Roanoke facilities to discuss options and reassignments.

“The transition of production has a significant impact on KME employees and is not a decision we take lightly,” said Tyler. “We are grateful to our teams at both locations, who have worked with us over the years to build the KME brand. We also thank the local communities for their ongoing support, and we would like to thank our dealer partners for their outstanding efforts in servicing our mutual customers over the many years and thank them in advance for their efforts in supporting this transition.”



NESQUEHONING, Pa. — A plant in Carbon County that makes custom firefighting vehicles is closing.

Kovatch Mobile Equipment is a landmark in the town of Nesquehoning, producing top-of-the-line custom fire apparatus for more than 50 years. KME’s parent company REV Group has decided to move production elsewhere.

Some KME employees who wished to remain anonymous told Newswatch 16 they were called into a meeting Friday morning and were blindsided when they were told that the plants in Nesquehoning would be closing. Their last day of work will be March 31, 2022.

In a statement, REV Group said the plants will complete orders already in production, but new orders will be sent to other facilities in the company.

Doug Budziak left KME in May. He wasn’t surprised by the news.

“I knew it was coming. I’m not going to lie. I told a lot of people when I left there, I was like. ‘Listen, this place is going to go down, and it’s going to go down fast.’ Look at the stock markets, and you see their production levels; it’s just going down. With labor costs going up, it’s just more sensible to go overseas and make more money that way.”

Residents say the plant’s closure will be a big blow to the small town.

“I’m not from here, but I know it matters to these people,” Budziak said. “I know one guy, he works there, his name is Dave. He’s worked there his entire life. He’s going to lose it all.”

Despite massive layoffs in recent years, current and former employees estimate 300 to 400 people still work at the plant. Budziak says many of them can find new jobs fast, as he did, but they might have to relocate.

“Some other company is going to come in and maybe do something with it, by all means. But by that time, it’s going to be two or three years deep. The next generation’s going to be good, but you’re screwing these 300 people out of a life for the next two or three years, if not more. You don’t know what that is going to do to this kind of community.”

REV Group says it will meet with employees to discuss possible reassignments within the company. If they’re let go, employees tell Newswatch 16 the company will pay a week of severance for every year they worked at the plant.

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