WESTFIELD, Ind. — IMMI, which provides school bus seats with lap-shoulder belts, announced that it will begin manufacturing SafeGuard seats at a new plant in High Point, N.C., beginning in July.
The facility, two blocks away from the Thomas Built Buses C2 plant, will offer just-in-time deliveries to Thomas Built.
IMMI General Manager Larry Gray said the new plant is a key element of the company's manufacturing strategy to localize its supply chain. "We are taking the initiative to locate new manufacturing plants in strategic locations that simplify logistics, reduce freight costs and offer our customers a faster response time," he said.
IMMI will continue to manufacture school bus seat components and seating modules for Thomas Built in its Indiana plant, while using the new plant for final assembly of its SafeGuard FlexSeat and Integrated Child Seat (ICS).
Both products incorporate SmartFrame technology, which provides the protection of lap-shoulder belts for belted passengers while offering full compartmentalization protection for unbelted passengers in frontal crashes.
"While funding for municipalities has declined, we've experienced an increased interest in the SafeGuard brand, dictating more efficient manufacturing processes," Gray said. "The time is now to increase our OEM support and help Thomas Built Buses manage the increasing number of SafeGuard seat pilot programs."