Monster Moto CEO Alexander Keechle has announced the company will establish a headquarters and manufacturing facility in Ruston, LA for the assembly of minibikes, go-carts and other youth-oriented vehicles. The project will include a minimum $4 million capital investment as part of a public-private development to build a 100,000-square-foot facility housing Monster Moto’s operations at the former site of Ruston’s municipal airport.
In moving its headquarters from the Dallas area and its manufacturing operations from overseas, Monster Moto will create 287 new direct jobs over the next decade. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project will result in an additional 292 new indirect jobs, for a total of more than 570 new jobs in North Louisiana.
LA Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “Monster Moto’s selection of Ruston for its new manufacturing facility is a great win for North Louisiana and our entire state. The company will thrive in Louisiana’s excellent business climate and gain access to our highly skilled workforce and a great research university in Louisiana Tech. Additionally, the new jobs created by this project will provide quality careers for our people in this area for years to come.”
Founded in 2013, Monster Moto designs, manufactures and distributes gas- and electric-powered minibikes and go-carts. The company occupies a unique space in the U.S. motorcycle manufacturing industry, marketing affordable and easy-to-operate, off-road vehicles primarily to the youth market.
In addition to distributing products through the company’s website, Monster Moto has successfully sold youth vehicles through major retailers, including Amazon, Kmart, The Home Depot and others. Launching sales in May 2014, the company experienced significant success in its first year of operation, with projected first-year revenue in excess of $5 million.
“We are thrilled to be moving our operations from China and on-shoring American jobs,” Keechle said. “We are even more thrilled with our new partners, the State of Louisiana and the City of Ruston, who have been incredibly supportive, business-friendly, and deserve a lot credit. Controlling our own factory operation will increase production flexibility, quality control and product innovation, all at an extremely competitive cost. This is a huge win for our customers. On top of all of this, our partnership with Louisiana Tech will help our brand reach its full potential.”
With more retailers demanding U.S.-made vehicles, Monster Moto is relocating manufacturing operations from China to the U.S. The Monster Moto facility in Ruston will be designed to allow expansion to 300,000 square feet in the future. Monster Moto will begin construction in June 2015 and is expected to begin operating in Ruston by the end of the year. Hiring will begin in the second half of 2015.
“Ruston is thrilled to welcome Monster Moto to our city,” Mayor Ronny Walker said. “The success of this project was dependent upon many partnerships throughout the community, one of the most important being Dr. Les Guice and Louisiana Tech University. Being selected as the site for Monster Moto’s U.S. manufacturing facility demonstrates the many assets Ruston has to offer, including a qualified workforce, essential infrastructure and an eagerness to make things happen. This is just another example of why Ruston is known for ‘Excellence Made Here.’”
The City of Ruston will provide 17 acres to the project through the Lincoln Economic Development Council. Monster Moto will enter a long-term lease on the building to be constructed by a limited liability company, consisting of local builders, at the site of the former Ruston Municipal Airport that ceased operations in 1990 and was replaced by Ruston Regional Airport. The 90-acre former airport site will be known as Russtown Industrial Park and will feature Monster Moto as its first tenant. In addition to the industrial site, Monster Moto selected Ruston for its proximity to Louisiana Tech University.
“University, civic and business leaders in Ruston and Lincoln Parish continue to work as a team to create an industry-friendly environment that is attractive to businesses looking to establish and grow their operations in our region,” said Louisiana Tech President Les Guice. “These businesses are encouraged to access the intellectual and research strengths of Louisiana Tech, and engage with our vibrant and active campus and local communities. I welcome Monster Moto to our area and encourage all of our students and faculty to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with them and learn more about the creative, business and manufacturing capabilities of such an outstanding company, right here in our own backyard.”
LED began discussing the potential project with Monster Moto in November 2014. The company selected the Ruston site after a highly competitive selection process that involved sites in Texas, Florida and South Carolina. To secure the project, the State of Louisiana offered Monster Moto an incentive package that includes Louisiana’s Competitive Projects Payroll Incentive Program. Additionally, the company will receive the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart®, and Monster Moto is expected to use the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program.
“North Louisiana Economic Partnership is pleased to be able to support the City of Ruston’s efforts in recruiting Monster Moto to North Louisiana,” said President Scott Martinez of North Louisiana Economic Partnership. “NLEP worked with the company to identify sites in our region, and the company zeroed in on Ruston because of the valuable partnerships with the city, local builders and Louisiana Tech University.”