April 7, 2010

Freedom Group Deciding where to Build Marlin Firearms

(GunReports.com)--The Freedom Group has said it is evaluating several relocation options and will announce the future production site of Marlin firearms when a final decision is made.

Freedom Group announced last week that it will close the Marlin Firearms facility in North Haven, Conn, but hadn't committed to the line's continuation.

"As competition in today's global marketplace remains intense, consolidation of our manufacturing processes and operating systems allow us to provide Marlin customers with the highest quality products at competitive prices," said Ted Torbeck, Freedom Group CEO. "We are committed to the Marlin brand, its core product offerings and bringing innovative new Marlin firearms to our customers."

Comments (19)

Great point on a modern facility; however, there are a ton of considerations for that, and I personally find it quite believable that the I-95 corridor in New England is not the ideal locale. I may be wrong or forgetful here, but I didn't read anything indicating Marlin will never be made again or they won't build a new plant somewhere. When Toyota came to the US, why didn't they build their plants in Detroit?

For the record, my personal finances do not dictate my beliefs nor my views on this matter. For argument's sake - what is too much money anyway? Frankly, I thought part of the American dream was to be able to get wealthy without being born into it.

Hopefully I make sense this time....

Posted by: PVB | April 19, 2010 8:30 PM    Report this comment

Sword - perhaps you and I are looking at opposite perspectives? Yes, many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Part of that (IMO) is because of excessive and unfairly distributed tax burdens; part poor personal financial discipline; and other reasons not related directly to the wage or salary.

The genesis of this debate is not the plight of the American worker or taxpayer though - it is the closing of a long-established factory. From a profitability perspective, wages and benefits in many areas are in clearly driving businesses to close up shop or open elsewhere. Is that part of the reason here? Perhaps. Taxes can clearly hinder a business, and as you pointed out, if not, then somebody else foots the bill. Regulatory agencies such as OSHA, DEP, etc. (let's not forget BATFE) also drive up the costs of doing business, far more significantly than the average American would suspect. Finally, what about frivolous litigation? Of course, a business always has the option of raising prices, but that only goes so far before it makes more financial sense to close up shop. Yes, the reasons for this closure could be good old fashioned corporate greed as well. I don't think we really know....

A sage salesman once told me he'd often heard growing up that a good pool player was a sign of misspent youth. When he was working for a company that could open a new plant pretty much anywhere, they chose Duluth. "Why Duluth?" I asked. "Because their aren't very many good pool players here" he replied; meaning that the work ethic of the surrounding area was exceptional. Many people talk about how the real estate can impact the customer base; few consider the impact it can have on the employee base. The latter usually stay profitable for quite a while. It has been a few years, but I have driven by the Marlin plant and been in the neighborhoods. Do you think it's coincidental that many iconic American businesses now located in major urban centers are struggling?

Posted by: PVB | April 19, 2010 8:29 PM    Report this comment

EdD270 do you know what it means when the municipality offers, “…special incentives to attract them…”? That means the municipality will transfer some of the tax obligations from Marlin to you. Overall taxes will not go down; you will get to shoulder more of the burden. And who knows they may get in a bidding war with some county in Texas and drive an even harder bargain.

PVB, when you say that it is difficult for manufacturing to be competitive in the US because of, “… [High] wages, benefits, taxes…” you are saying that you make too much. Is that the case? Do you make too much? As far as I know these manufacturing jobs are held by Americans who are not getting rich but just getting by. I can think of some people who are making too much but you would have to travel to Wall Street to find them. In addition the people making Marlin firearms are making something that is tangible and useful as opposed to shuffling money in a giant shell game.

What about giving these workers a modern facility so they can compete on the world stage? I can tell you I have purchased a number of guns from H&K and Sig Sauer. They are able to make great guns in a high labor cost county like Germany and Switzerland. There is no reason we should export any more jobs to 3rd world countries. If we used some of our GDP on reinvestment instead of Wall Street bonuses we could have a competitive manufacturing sector.

Posted by: broadswordsman | April 19, 2010 6:29 PM    Report this comment

Consolidating - Moving equipment to already existing facilities. The only thing more attractive is building a State of Art manufacturing facility in New Mexico and hiring Gringos. A Caucasian male who speaks Spanish would be a good candidate for a production manager position.

Posted by: Jeff W | April 13, 2010 10:41 PM    Report this comment

@Huffer - Kimber. Springfield. Certain S&W's. Good, solid M-1's or Carbines.

I'm a little cool on Ruger right now after all the recalls and the 25% PI they put through on their .22's.

I agree about buying American, though manufacturing has become a serious challenge due to wages, benefits, taxes, real estate, government programs, litigation, and so on.

Posted by: PVB | April 12, 2010 8:37 AM    Report this comment

I'm looking to pick up a few more firearms soon.There are a lot of good ones out there for low prices, but made off-shore.I only look at the products of American manufacturers.We all owe it to America to do do what is best for us,not some slave market on the other side of the planet...!

Posted by: Huffer115 | April 12, 2010 6:26 AM    Report this comment

I hope they look at Navajo County, Arizona. The state just passed legislation to allow concealed carry for everyone, not convicted felons, without a special permit. We're also a "right to work" state. I know the county and state would be willing to extend special incentives to attract them here, and heaven knows we need the work here.

Posted by: EdD270 | April 10, 2010 4:24 PM    Report this comment

I hope Marlin will locate in East Tennessee we are in the process of getting rid of political corruption at all levels and most folks are now buying local when at all possible. Plus the 336/336c are the best yall

Posted by: knucklehead | April 9, 2010 5:32 PM    Report this comment

Great point Charles!

Posted by: PVB | April 9, 2010 2:55 PM    Report this comment

Another thing is that Marlin, as a long gun manufacturer, is on the wrong side of the firearms industry. The action at the moment is in the personal defense handgun space. For every hunter who wants a Marlin 55 36" goose gun there are 1000 women clamoring for a Ruger LCP that they can drop in their purse.

Posted by: CHARLES S | April 9, 2010 1:50 PM    Report this comment

THE MARLTN SOLUTION USING PROVEN MILITARY INDUSTRIAL POLITCAL TECHNIQUES

Invade Iran and give military weapons contracts to Marlin--very good for unemployment too!

Bail Outs you say! Absurd!--that's only for too large to fail greedy bankers and corporate raiders with rediculou bonuses !! But,if we have GM--known as Gov't Motors --we could also have GM Gov't Marlin!!

Careful with your comments--this is all Paulson-Geitner--greenspan--Bernanke economics!

Posted by: mac | April 9, 2010 12:37 PM    Report this comment

I would'nt be concerned if the story(s) went like this. 1)Marlin Arms is expanding it's manufacturing base by adding a new plant some were in SC that wil be making the Models 1,2,3,etc. 2)Marlin Arms has announced that they have found a site near XYZ City. This Plant will have X00,000 sq.feet of manufacturing and shipping space, and equipped with the latest CNC machines and tooling. 3)Marlin Arms today had it's ground braking ceromony for there new plant attended by all of the big wigs. 4)Marlin Arms begun shipping the new Models 1,2,3,etc rifles. This makes sense!!

Posted by: lotoofla | April 8, 2010 6:29 PM    Report this comment

It's all part of the entire US manufacturing picture; just worse in the Northeast where much of the original manufacturing resides.

Hadn't heard about P&W - UTC moving lines of business out of state could be really bad for CT.

Posted by: PVB | April 8, 2010 3:25 PM    Report this comment

Well good point. I think for clarification what I meant was any company large enough to have a board or shareholders.

Small companies I have dealt with whether they have been gun, computer, automobile etc typically take pride in their work and make decisions based on such.

Connecticut has been hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs for years. Taxes are way too high. Cost of living is very high. I don't think it's so much about being "gun friendly". This was the home of Marlin, Colt and a few others I can't remember. Smith and Wesson is right up the road too in Mass. It's just not as profitable here. Pratt and Whitney just moved some machining down to Georgia for the reasons mentioned above.

Posted by: August | April 8, 2010 3:14 PM    Report this comment

They probably need to relocate to a more work-friendly state so they can get rid of their high-cost, union-based workforce -- makes perfect business sense. In addition, its probably time to move to a more gun-friendly state. I would relocate too, if I owned the company. Long live Marlin!

Posted by: Texas Chas | April 8, 2010 2:44 PM    Report this comment

Most of my experiences in the firearm industry are positive and reflect customer service as most of us knew it to be - quality employees, humans on the phone, standing by their products. To me, the industry still seems relatively untainted by "business decisions" that serve to "improve the bottom line" without regard to the negative impacts such decisions may have.

Posted by: PVB | April 8, 2010 2:43 PM    Report this comment

"doing what's good for the "shareholder" is rampant in every industry, I'm not sure why the firearms industry would be any different.

Every decision made is about increasing revenue, not "doing the right thing". That's what this country is about. If a company can no longer stay viable than it closes it's doors. That's just the way free-market capitalism works.

Posted by: August | April 8, 2010 2:31 PM    Report this comment

I said last week there are many reasons for to close a plant in New Haven. Do they know what they're doing? I don't know, and I'm a little concerned that merger-mania and its associated mentality of doing what's good for the "shareholder" (usually only a key few) may be overtaking the firearms industry.

Hopefully we continue to see Marlin products and their familiar quality in the future as Freedom Group seems to want us to believe.

Posted by: PVB | April 8, 2010 1:52 PM    Report this comment

Do these people realy know what they'er doing?? The way I read it, Marlin is closing for good. I was able to get a M1895 Classic in 45-70Gov before they are gone for good.

Posted by: lotoofla | April 8, 2010 1:39 PM    Report this comment

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