Steyr Arms will invest $2.9 million to add a manufacturing component to its Bessemer, AL location, a key assembly and distribution hub. The firearms maker’s expansion project will create up to 10 jobs, according to the Birmingham Business Alliance.
Steyr’s Jefferson County location is its only U.S. subsidiary that imports, distributes and assembles the company’s firearms, as well as some from Merkel. Steyr plans to relocate the manufacturing of its products for U.S. sales from Austria to the Bessemer facility.
“This expansion represents a great deal of trust in our operations in Bessemer, on behalf of our parent company,” said Scott O’Brien, president of Steyr Arms. “Our operations and workforce here are world-class, and we are proud to be able to serve our U.S. customers in a new and efficient way.”
The investment will include the purchase of new equipment to process components used in the production of firearms and final assembly. The project is not expected to be fully completed until June 2019, but manufacturing is expected to start on-site by the end of this year.
Steyr Arms produces comprehensive lines of premium hunting rifles and precision sporting and tactical firearms. In 2013, the company invested $1.7 million to move its local operations from Trussville to Bessemer and has since doubled its workforce. It currently employs 15 people in Bessemer.
“Steyr Arms’ decision to add a manufacturing component to its operation in Bessemer shows that Alabama provides an ideal environment for firearms makers, along with many other manufacturing businesses,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “In addition, every time a company expands in Alabama, it transmits a vote of confidence to the world that the state is a place where success can be found.”
Steyr Arms worked with the City of Bessemer, Jefferson County and the Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) to receive abatements for the expansion.
“The entire Commission is excited that Steyr Arms Inc. has decided to expand its operations in Jefferson County,” said Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington. “Steyr Arms is well known throughout the world for manufacturing high quality firearms. This expansion further reinforces the positive business climate and continued economic growth that our county is experiencing.”
Foreign direct investment in the region remains strong because of companies like Steyr, according to Jeff Traywick, senior project manager for the BBA, who is working with the company on the expansion.
“We are excited to see this prominent company, with a history going back more than 150 years, continuing their investment in Bessemer,” said Traywick. “The location of Steyr’s facility has been an asset to their wholesale distribution activities and we look forward to seeing production added at this location. This project is a prime example of growing foreign investment in the Birmingham region.”
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