The bus industry in Conway has a new owner.

Custom metal products supplier DBG, which is based in Canada and which has acquired Navistar’s IC Bus operations in Conway, will make its U.S. headquarters there, the company announced today.

IC Bus fabricates school and shuttle buses and has its roots in Ward Body Works, founded in 1933. Ward Body Works was succeeded in 1980 by AmTran, which was acquired in 1991 by Navistar.


Peter Chapman, formerly of IC Bus and now general manager of DBG Conway, said the company plans to invest and double its business in the next five years. The 200 employees of IC Bus will remain with DBG.

The company received $650,000 in Governor’s Quick Action Closing Funds and qualified for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Create program rebate, which will provide a 3.9 percent payroll rebate if DGB creates a minimum of $2 million in new payroll annually; the rebate will kick in in two years if the company reaches the threshold. DGB also got Act 9 bond financing to acquire the operations, which means it made a one-time payment to Conway in lieu of property taxes.


In a news release, AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston said he applauded “DBG’s decision to invest in Conway and keep 200 valuable employees working here as the company explores additional growth opportunities.”