Arms manufacturer Česká zbrojovka plans to launch US production by end of 2020

Visualisation of manufacturing facility at the Port of Little Rock in Arkansas, photo: archive of US Embassy in Prague

Czech arms manufacturer Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod (CZUB) plans to launch production in its new weapons factory in Arkansas, the United States, by the end of 2020, the business daily e15 reports.

Production in the new manufacturing facility, operated by the Czech company’s US-based branch CZ-USA, was due to be launched in mid-2020, but it has been delayed by the coronavirus outbreak.

The US-based affiliate of Czech firearms manufacturer announced plans to locate their North American Headquarters and build a new manufacturing facility at the Port of Little Rock in Arkansas in the spring of 2019, with an investment of up to $90 million. The new plant should create more than 560 jobs over the next six years.

However, the investment plans could be further postponed by the Covid-19 crisis.

“One of the limiting factors is that traffic between Europe and the United States has been restricted for several months. Nevertheless, we are going ahead with our investment plans,” Česká zbrojovka president Lubomír Kovařík told e15, adding that the preparatory works for the launch of the new plant should start before the end of the year.

CZUB has been manufacturing weapons for almost a century and employs around 2,000 people worldwide. The company established its first US branch in 1997, in California, and later expanded to Kansas.

Despite significant gun fatalities and injuries in the country, the US remains a lucrative market in the arms industry and, according to experts, foreign investments in the field make sense:

"Building a new manufacturing plant in the United States is a rational step in the development of Česká zbrojovka and the Uherský Brod factory has nearly reached its full capacity," Martin Pavlík, a portfolio manager at the Conseq Investment Group told the daily, adding that launching production in the US will also enable the Czech arms manufacturer to enter its military market.

This May, Česká Zbrojovka made a technical listing of its shares on the Prague Stock Exchange with the view to a potential public offering in the future.