AEV purchases Gates facility

By Alan Bulluck

August 17, 2014

American Emergency Vehicles (AEV) has purchased the Gates Corporation facility in Jefferson.

AEV President and CEO Mark Van Arnam made the announcement of the acquisition in a statement released Wednesday, Aug. 15.

“AEV is pleased to announce that we have acquired the Gates facility in Jefferson, North Carolina,” Van Arnam said in the statement. “Gates will continue to occupy the facility until they have terminated all local activities by the end of the year.”

Van Arnam went on to state that AEV is in the early stages of developing plans to renovate and reconfigure the building for use as an ambulance manufacturing hub.

“We’re developing plans to go in and completely modify the building, substantially,” Van Arnam said via phone on Friday, Aug. 15. “It will take significant investment to reconfigure the facility.”

Van Arman said the acquisition became official several weeks ago.

The Denver, Colorado based Gates is a designer and manufacturer of industrial belt, hose and hydraulic products that serve a wide range of industries. The company owns manufacturing facilities in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East.

Gates announced last summer that it would begin the process of shutting down its Jefferson facility, located at 101 Gates Lane, starting in September 2013. At the time, approximately 247 were employed at the facility. Since then, employees have been laid off at a staggered pace.

“It’s (Gates facility) twice the size of our current facility and will provide a significant platform for opportunity and growth,” Van Arman said.

AEV, which is headquartered in Jefferson, is the largest ambulance manufacturer in the United States and has been producing emergency vehicles in Ashe County since the 1980s.

Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @albulluck.