$7 Million Expansion, 120 New Jobs Pegged For Fort Smith

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 126 views 

Walther Arms, Inc. announced its U.S. operations will locate at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Walther Arms will share a campus and business resources with Umarex USA in Fort Smith which today (Nov. 29) announced it will expand its manufacturing operations to include components of both airguns and firearms.

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 the expansion, management hopes to create from 70 to 120 new jobs over the next five years.

“Jobs, opportunity, Fort Smith, Arkansas…” stated Adam Blalock, chief executive officer of Walther Arms and Umarex USA, “We are absolutely fired up to see Fort Smith become the home for the iconic Walther brand and company.”

Umarex USA first leased space in Fort Smith in 2006. Plans to build a new facility at Chaffee Crossing were announced in 2008 while the airgun company entered the firearms market for the first time when it began to import the Colt M4 chambered in .22 caliber. All Fort Smith operations were located in the Chaffee facility by July 2010.

Since moving into the Chaffee facility, Umarex USA’s sales volume has doubled.

In July of this year, Carl Walther GmbH announced the formation of Walther Arms, Inc. and the appointment of Adam Blalock as CEO. While the decision on Walther’s location in the United States had not been determined at the time of the announcement, the Fort Smith Regional Chamber, Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, and Gov. Mike Beebe’s office worked to secure Walther’s business for Arkansas, the company said.

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.

“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.”