Walther Arms, Inc., a firearms manufacturer producing pistols popular with law enforcement professionals, recreational shooters, and athletes, plans to locate its U.S. operations at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Walther Arms plans to share a campus and business resources with Umarex USA which plans to expand its manufacturing operations to include components of both airguns and firearms. Through the expansion, the German-based business, PW Group, owners of both Walther Arms and Umarex USA, will relocate certain products currently manufactured abroad for manufacture in Fort Smith under the Walther Arms Company.
The Arkansas Economic Development Corporation said combined, the companies plan to invest more than $7 million toward expanding the facility and operations over the next five years. The expanding facility will serve as corporate headquarters for both Walther and Umarex in North America, with estimates of create from 70 to 120 new jobs over the next five years.
Adam Blalock, chief executive officer of Walther Arms and Umarex USA said; “We are absolutely fired up to see Fort Smith become the home for the iconic Walther brand and company. My personal hope and objective is to see more manufacturing and jobs return to the USA in the coming years and what better place than Fort Smith."
"Fort Smith's excellent workforce helped convince Umarex and Walther to increase production here, and their overall Arkansas experience led to make our state their North American Headquarters," Governor Mike Beebe said. "Success stories like this will help to influence other companies deciding where to invest for success."
"Umarex and Walther Arms is one of Fort Smith's great success stories," said Tim Allen, Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce chief operating officer. "Just a few years ago, we were all celebrating Umarex's groundbreaking at Chaffee Crossing, and now today the company has chosen Fort Smith as its corporate headquarters for North America."
"Umarex's decision to increase its manufacturing operation in Fort Smith is a testament to the talented workforce in this region and we are honored to have such a great corporate citizen like Umarex and Walther Arms in our community," said Mayor Sandy Sanders. Information on incentives offered the firm were not immediately available.
As an incentive the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority will consider donating four acres of land at Chaffee Crossing, a mixed use development, to Walther Arms for its expansion.