Vehicle maker American LaFrance to relocate within the Charleston area

American LaFrance plans to vacate its current headquarters and manfacturing plant off Jedburg Road in Summerville. Buy this photo

Vehicle manufacturer American LaFrance said today it is moving from its Summerville plant to an undisclosed location in the region.

The company said it is in the final phases of selecting a new facility to house its headquarters and manufacturing operations. The company currently leases two buildings off Jedburg Road with a combined 500,000 square-foot manufacturing and office space.

“This is the opportune time to establish a new location to serve our current and future needs as an organization,” CEO Al Malizia said in statement. “The move to a new site gives us the latitude to integrate our engineering, customer service and manufacturing teams under one roof, improving efficiency and reducing costs. Our final site selection will be based on the highest value proposition we can realize for our customers and employees.”

American LaFrance intends to sign a long-term lease and relocate in the third quarter of 2013.

“We have a solid business plan that supports increased shipments and some exciting new orders in 2013,” Malizia said. “Our team has developed a robust relocation plan that will make the transition seamless to our production schedule, customers, dealers and vendors alike.”

Company officials were not immediately available to discuss the move.

Through its predecessor entities, American LaFrance is the oldest fire apparatus manufacturer in the United States, dating back to its founding in 1832. It also makes rescue and vocational vehicles.

The company is owned by Patriarch Partners, an New York-based investment firm.

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