Manufacturing

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OK: Expansion at NE Oklahoma Motorcycle and Engine HQ

12 May, 2010


Motorcycle and engine manufacturer U.S. Highland Inc. is revving up production at its Mounds headquarters and says it plans to hire 200 to 300 people in the coming year.

Company leaders announced plans for an expansion that could include five new buildings to accommodate production lines for motorcycles as well as more space for research and development.

Chief Operating Officer Chase Bales said U.S. Highland plans to launch a retail line of bikes in the coming months and will also begin manufacturing engines and motors for other companies. It now has about 30 employees.

"We'll need a few hundred more people in a few months," said Bales, who is also a part-owner of the company.

U.S. Highland moved to Oklahoma from Sweden two years ago to make street and off-road sports bikes. Mats Malmberg, a former professional rider in Europe and founder of the company, said he wanted to take advantage of the larger American market.

"It's a much bigger market for motorcycles here," said Malmberg, who still designs and tests the company's prototype bikes.

In Sweden, Highland was a niche motorcycle manufacturer and sold some 1,500 bikes from 1999 to 2006.

U.S. Highland's customer base could expand when the retail line is launched this summer.

For the remainder of this article, please click here: http://www.tulsaworld.com/business/article.aspx?subjectid=46&articleid=20100505_46_E1_Shopma70131

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