December 21, 2005

Kevin Hall
(804) 225-4260

Anita Gambill
Christie Collins
(804) 545-5805
-STIHL Incorporated to invest $78.4 million to expand manufacturing facility -

VIRGINIA BEACH - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that STIHL Incorporated will invest $78.4 million to expand its facility in Virginia Beach, creating 150 new jobs. The company manufactures handheld outdoor power equipment. Virginia successfully competed against Brazil, Germany and Switzerland for the project.

“I met with members of the STIHL management board in Germany during a trade trip to Europe in 2003, and I am pleased to have an opportunity to announce this expansion and the creation of 150 new jobs before my term as Governor ends," Governor Warner said. “This project marks the largest single facility investment in the history of STIHL, and it is clear Virginia Beach has provided the company with the tools for success."

STIHL Incorporated manufactures the world's largest selling brand of chain saws and produces a full line of handheld, outdoor power equipment for homeowners and professional users. STIHL products are sold through independent servicing power equipment retailers from coast to coast.

“We are pleased to be able to continue to add jobs here in support of the local and national economies in lieu of outsourcing,” stated Fred Whyte, president of STIHL Incorporated. “Although we export to more than 80 countries, the United States is still the largest single market for our products. Consequently, expanding manufacturing in Virginia Beach has repeatedly proven to be a sound business decision for STIHL.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (contact Christie Collins, 804.545.5805) worked with the City of Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Warner approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Virginia Beach with the project. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide training assistance through its Workforce Services Jobs Investment Program.

“We are extremely proud that STIHL Incorporated is making the largest single manufacturing capital investment in Virginia Beach history,” said Mayor Meyera E. Oberndorf. “For more than 30 years, the City of Virginia Beach has enjoyed an excellent relationship with STIHL and its world-class workforce. Throughout the years, we’ve witnessed tremendous growth both for STIHL and the City itself. Just three years ago, STIHL expanded by $60.8 million and 200 employees. This further expansion of one of the world’s finest manufacturing operations by $78.4 million in capital investment and 150 new high-paying jobs not only is a testament to Virginia Beach’s pro-business attitude and economic development strategy, but it is also critical to the economic vitality of our outstanding community.”


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