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American Seating To Open Location In Buffalo, New York

Grand Rapids, MI, USA (Oct. 18, 2016)— American Seating headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, announces plans to open a production facility in Buffalo, New York, that will serve as the manufacturing site for seats destined for New York City Transit buses and other transit authorities in the state. The facility is expected to open in December and be fully operational in the first quarter of 2017.

In mid-2016, American Seating was awarded contracts with two Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) serving the Metropolitan Transit Authority – Volvo North America and New Flyer Industries – to manufacture the seating, which ultimately will be installed in 231 new buses destined for New York City Transit.

“Every bus seating order creates jobs for American workers – we’re proud of that. In fact, we’re proud to have been making bus seats for New York City for nearly 70 years and honored to continue a collaboration begun decades ago,” American Seating President Tom Bush said.

American Seating seats in New York City buses go back to approximately the 1940s. The company first began making bus seats in 1931. The Michigan-based company, which has manufactured bus seats and architectural seating products on its Midwest campus for 130 years – and also at one time had offices located in New York – is reinstating its New York state presence because of the recently awarded contracts.

“It’s important to New Yorkers that products used by New Yorkers are also made by the people who live here. We think that’s a great policy – one that fits with our own mission of employing a local workforce. Our objective here in New York is that our production capabilities will also serve other New York state-based transit authorities,” Bush said. “We’re glad to be back in New York, making products that serve a local workforce and local communities.”

The 10,000 square-foot production facility is located in the North Tonawanda neighborhood of Buffalo, New York.

Bush, a New York native himself, is pleased to bring an American Seating presence back to his home state: “I’ve been a part of American Seating in Grand Rapids since the 1990s and, as someone born and raised in New York, I’m glad that we can expand operations in this great state. It’s great to see our products here.”

In addition to providing seats for New York City’s MTA, American Seating makes seats for many transit authorities throughout the state and beyond; the company’s seats are in more than 70 percent of buses throughout North America. (See QUICK FACTS below*)

The seats that American Seating will be making for the MTA are the company’s Metropolitan® seats and will feature new USB-charging technology. (Learn more about the Metropolitan®)

(Read the press release from New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on March 8, 2016, announcing that the MTA is adding 2,042 state-of-the-art new buses to its transportation fleet over the next five years. The new buses will replace nearly 40 percent of the MTA’s current fleet and represent a $1.3 billion investment of Capital Program resources. According to the press release: All new buses will include added amenities designed to dramatically improve the overall customer experience, including the charging ports and free Wi-Fi hotspots on all rides. A new pilot program to install digital information screens on 200 buses will begin this year, providing customers with the most up to date information available on upcoming stops, available transfers, weather, and other information. … With nearly 8.7 million travelers per day, these upgrades are part of a robust plan to fully transform the MTA into an innovative, state-of-the-art system with improved customer service and first-class amenities.)

QUICK FACTS:

  • American Seating, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, employs a Grand Rapids-based workforce of more than 400.
  • American Seating currently purchases more than 70 percent of its raw materials from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
  • 95 percent of American Seating’s transportation products are made from domestic content.
  • American Seating has made products in Grand Rapids since 1886 – 2016 is the company’s 130th anniversary year.
  • More than 70 percent of the nation’s city-service bus seats are made by American Seating.
  • Major cities with American Seating bus seats include New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Miami, St. Louis, San Francisco and, of course, The Rapid in Grand Rapids.
  • Major cities using American Seating seats in rail systems include Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Philadelphia and Portland, Oregon (and the Olympic SkyTrain in Vancouver).
  • American Seating’s InSight® seat is the best-selling transit seat in North America.

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About American Seating
Since 1886, American Seating has set the benchmark for product design, durability and comfort. American Seating is committed to being an innovator of world-class seating solutions for architectural environments, including the Education, Entertainment, Workplace, Contract and Government Contract markets. American Seating also serves as a leader in transportation seating, including City Service, Rail, Motorcoach and Demand-Response markets. American Seating is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. The company achieved Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC) Chain of Custody certification in 2012. American Seating’s FSC trademark license code is FSC-C110979. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., U.S.A., American Seating employs a U.S.-based workforce. For more information, please visit www.americanseating.com.

If you have any questions regarding this news release, please call Doug Oswald at (616)732-6416 or e-mail doug.oswald@amseco.com.

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