Maine-based Ambulance company sets up service center in Whitman
Autotronics Inc. has been servicing and supplying ambulances for towns throughout Eastern Massachusetts for years. And with the opening of a new service center in Whitman, company officials have their eyes set on further expansion in the region.
The Frenchville, Maine-based company moved into the 26,000-square-foot facility at 215 Bedford St. in Whitman in June. The space on Route 18 had been vacant since the Autolines used-car dealership abruptly closed in April 2006.
The Whitman location is Autotronics' third service center (its others are located in Bangor and Frenchville), but it is by far its largest, according to Sandy Dove, Autotronics' vice president for sales.
Dove said the Whitman location grew out of a small sales office he had run out of his North Chelmsford home since 2000. That sales office helped secure a contract with Boston Emergency Medical Services in 2001, which Dove said helped pave the way for the Whitman expansion.
Autotronics owner Paul Daigle said the company now does about 30 percent of its business in Massachusetts. He said the scope of Autotronics' contract with the city of Boston, and the company's relationships with other area towns and service providers (including South Shore Hospital, and the Whitman, Hanson, Hull and Scituate fire departments) are what lured the company from Maine.
``We thought it was time to better support the customers who support us down there,'' Daigle said.
The addition of the new service center comes amidst an expansion of the company's sales territory - it is now authorized to sell ambulances in foreign markets such as Finland and Switzerland. One ambulance sitting in the Whitman location's parking lot on a recent Tuesday was destined for Nigeria, according to Dove.
Diagle said there are also plans to expand into other sectors of the emergency response market.
``We'll be expanding the police side of it, the prisoner transport side and fire service also,'' Daigle said.
Since it opened in June, Dove said the Whitman location has sold an average of five ambulances per month, and has serviced hundreds more. However, the location is still not fully operational.
Dove and one other employee currently staff the center, but he said after necessary equipment arrives in February, the company plans to add about another dozen employees. The company employs a total of about 40 people overall.
``We're hoping to increase the sales of vehicles in this area,'' Dove said. ``We're going to be supplying a lot more product, new ideas and new concepts for people to try. In general, we'd like to capture the market in this one area.''
A.J. Bauer may be reached at email@example.com.