Parry Sound could be the new Canadian manufacturing hub for the SHERP, a rugged, all-terrain vehicle originally conceived in Ukraine.
In a Feb. 11 news release, Yuri Pyatkov, CEO of SHERP North America, suggested the company is considering setting up a production facility in the town, located about two hours south of Sudbury, creating up to 20 jobs.
“This is our fourth visit to Parry Sound and the area since September, and we have been very pleased with the support received from the town, the Chamber of Commerce, and various provincial and local government agencies,” Pyatkov said in the news release.
“We believe that Northern Ontario is the right place for our company to locate its Canadian production, and we are seriously considering setting up a manufacturing plant with at least 20 full-time jobs near Parry Sound later this year.”
The SHERP is a rugged, amphibious ATV designed to traverse a variety of terrain, including rock, muskeg, sand and ice.
Weighing in at 3,000 pounds, it measures eight feet tall, eight feet wide, and 11 feet long. It’s been outfitted with a Kubota engine and a five-speed manual transmission, and can reach a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour.
Its diesel fuel tank has a 60-litre capacity, and the machine burns two to three litres per hour, and each of the wheel hubs additionally houses a 50-litre fuel reserve, extending the running time to 3,600 kilometres on just one trip.
In 2017, Coniston Industrial Park was named the exclusive Ontario distributor for the SHERP. The Sudbury company also manufactures the aluminum trailer to pull the vehicle.
Pyatkov made his comments about the manufacturing facility following Parry Sound’s inaugural demonstration day to showcase a variety of search and rescue vehicles and equipment.
It included seven vehicle and boat manufacturers and live demonstrations of the SHERP, hovercrafts, airboats and marine equipment manufactured in Parry Sound, Seguin and Markham, Surrey, B.C., and Marion, WI.
The goal, it was noted in the news release, was to promote Parry Sound as a manufacturing and business hub to attract small and medium-sized businesses from out of town.
“We are very pleased to have hosted this event with such broad representation of the search and rescue vehicle manufacturers,” Parry Sound Mayor Jamie McGarvey said in the release.
“We remain firmly committed to the open-for-business concept, and such a gathering of industry leaders, experts and potential customers helps solidify the town’s position as an excellent place to conduct business."