Viper Motorcycle Company has announced plans to begin manufacturing motorcycles in Auburn, AL. The company will move its operations from Hopkins, MN to Auburn as soon as possible with full production beginning in 2011. A new facility in Auburn Technology Park West will become the new headquarters and production facility for Viper. Company officials expect the creation of 100 new jobs in Auburn over the next two years.
Viper Motorcycle, a subsidiary of Viper Powersports Inc., produces high performance, super cruiser motorcycles for bike enthusiasts. The motorcycles are produced with over 80% of proprietary parts designed and manufactured by Viper.
“The Auburn facility and community support places us in a position to achieve our annual goal of 2000 motorcycles and 2000 aftermarket engines within 5 years,” added John Silseth, CEO of Viper Powersports.
Company officials say the timing is ideal to relocate their operation and that Auburn has all of the assets for the Company to expand and satisfy the increased demand. “The market is ready for a new original equipment manufacturer to be a leader in the super cruiser niche,” said Terry Nesbitt, president of Viper Motorcycle Co.
Andrew Broadley, Technical Director of Viper Motorcycle Company, sees the proximity to Auburn University as an opportunity to integrate a wealth of knowledge and expertise from students and faculty. “The ability to develop a relationship with such a high-quality University is of particular interest on the technical side, which will allow us to expand our research and development capability towards new projects,” said Broadley.
The company sees unique opportunities for creative students to be involved in design and engineering, he added.
AL State Representative Mike Hubbard and Gov. Bob Riley assisted in recruiting the Company to Alabama and both had seen the product prior to its official launch.
Gov. Riley congratulated Auburn on the economic development news. “This is a great win for Auburn and really for our entire state. We’re proud to welcome Alabama’s latest economic development success to Alabama and look forward to a long and productive relationship with Viper. I know I’m definitely looking forward to seeing those bikes that will be built in Alabama out on the road,” Riley said.
State Representative Mike Hubbard welcomed the new company to Auburn. “The company was attracted to the area because of its excellent conditions including skilled personnel, a diverse manufacturing base, Auburn University, and the local quality of life,” Hubbard said.
Auburn City officials say the announcement is good news for the local economy. “We are proud to bring in another dynamic company that will provide Auburn citizens with good paying jobs, while diversifying our local manufacturing base,” Mayor Bill Ham said. “It’s exciting that such a unique product, to be sold across the country and abroad, will be manufactured in Auburn.”