XL Specialized Trailers (XL) has planned a $6 to $7 million expansion to its headquarters in Manchester, Iowa. The expansion will increase production capacity by over 30 percent.
The new development, which will be underway at the end of 2020 or early 2021, will add roughly 55,000-square-feet to the north side of its current manufacturing footprint. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021.
The growth at XL is not limited to the facility. The expansion will allow room to add many new positions to the company. Currently the manufacturer has hundreds of people on its team with plans to add 65 new jobs to the small eastern Iowa city of nearly 5,000 residents.
“Increasing our space and adding more team members positions us to serve our customers better than ever before,” said Stuart Sleper, president and CEO of XL Specialized Trailers. “We will be well positioned for growth in the market and reduce lead times on our products.”
Currently, XL is working with the state of Iowa, in addition to the city, to receive zoning permits and tax incentives. The city of Manchester is holding a public hearing for an Urban Renewal Plan Amendment that would give XL a 10-year, 80 percent tax rebate if passed. The date for the hearing is set for Dec. 14.
A record sales year in 2019 has allowed XL to power through the COVID-19 pandemic despite what the market indicates as a 45 percent drop in the low-bed trailer industry in 2020.
“We’re fortunate to have a diversified portfolio in the industries we serve, with some sectors performing better than others,” said Sleper. “At the moment, we have a backlog and strong order activity. We also are fortunate to have the best dealership network in the industry and a loyal customer following. When the economy bounces back, we’ll be able to take advantage of our expansion in production capacity.”
Because of its recent financial health, XL has plans for community outreach and support. “We’ve never really been active as a community partner before, and we’d like to change that,” said Sleper. “We want to be the employer of choice in the area, and also be recognized as a helpful partner in our city and community. XL Specialized Trailers has big plans, and we are excited for the future."