Morgan Olson

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Morgan Olson is an American aluminum vehicle company that is the leading producer of aluminum walk-in vans. Morgan Olson was founded in 1946 on Long Island, New York, by Jimmy Olson, and is currently located in Sturgis, Michigan. Previously owned by Northrop Grumman, followed by a group of senior managers, Morgan Olson was purchased by the American company JBPCO in 2003.

Morgan Olson's leading competitor is Utilimaster Corporation.

Morgan Olson customers include: UPS, FedEx, USPS, Unifirst, Aramark, G & K Services, Frito Lay, Community Coffee, LDV[disambiguation needed], WB Mason, Bimbo Baking and AmazonFresh.


Morgan Olson produces aluminum walk-in vans. The aluminum walk-in van has also been known as a "step van" and "multi-stop" van. The key features of the Walk-in vehicle are the delivery efficiencies it provides the driver.[citation needed] It is quite normal for a Morgan Olson walk-in van to have a service life of over twenty years.[citation needed]

Morgan Olson opened an additional manufacturing facility in North Charleston, S.C in 2013. This facility expanded Morgan Olson capabilities to include upfitting cargo vans with various internal layouts.

Service Parts – Morgan Olson provides service parts to a wide range of customers on a number of products. Aside from its current product, Morgan Olson provides service parts for its sister company, Morgan Corporation, as well as the United States Postal Service for its Long Life Vehicle.[citation needed]


The idea for the first aluminum walk-in van was originated by Walter Heingartner, owner of Kinney Motors Chevrolet in Brooklyn, NY. Heingartner was friends with Jimmy Olson, then Commissioner of the New York State Liquor Authority. Olson had no truck experience, but knowing there were ten independent laundry companies in Brooklyn alone, he saw a market. He knew an aluminum body would be lighter and less prone to corrosion. He also knew someone who could build it, "Jake" Swirbul, one of Grumman's founders.

Grumman had no experience building commercial truck bodies. However, they decided to move forward with the concept and Grumman Aircraft Engineering was scheduled to produce the vehicle beginning in 1939. The concept was shelved due to the onset of World War II.

After the war, Olson and three partners formulated J.B.E. Olson Corporation on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn. Construction of the aluminum vehicle began. For its public unveiling, Olson rented the ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City and invited Chevrolet dealers from all over the east coast. The vehicle was enthusiastically received and J.B.E. Olson received orders for 450 units, and the Grumman Olson aluminum walk-in van was born.[citation needed]

The company grew and prospered over the next many decades. The company purchased the Sturgis, MI facility, its current headquarters, in 1963.

In 1984, Grumman Olson was awarded the largest contract in its history. The United States Postal Service (USPS) awarded Grumman Olson a contract worth over one billion dollars. Over 150,000 vehicles were produced, of which the majority are in operation today.[citation needed]

After changes in ownership in the 1990s, Grumman Olson was faced with a declining market, and eventually declared bankruptcy in 2001. The company was purchased by JBPCO, a parent company whose sales are nearly one billion[disambiguation needed] annually, in 2003. At this time the name of the company was changed to Morgan Olson. Since the acquisition of Morgan Olson by JBPCO, it has seen steady, profitable growth while placing a heavy emphasis on reinvesting back into improved manufacturing equipment and processes.[citation needed]

Today, Morgan Olson produces walk in vans, dry freight box truck vans and cargo van upfitting for companies such as UPS, FedEx, Frito Lay, AmeriPride, Lance Inc, W.B. Mason, Unifirst, G & K Services, and Bimbo Baking.


Morgan Olson is located in the southern Michigan town of Sturgis, Also in eastern Tennessee town of Loudon.

Senior Management[edit]

President and COO Mike Ownbey
Executive Vice President Dan DesRochers
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Greg Pairitz
Vice President of Operations David Halladay
Vice President of Engineering Mark Hope
Vice President of Sales & Marketing Rich Tremmel
Director of Quality and Warranty Tom Tuttle
Director of Human Resources Stephen Hart