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Charlotte Area

Swedish chainsaw maker Husqvarna to double Charlotte presence

http://66.225.205.104/JR20100107.mp3

A Swedish company known for its bright orange chainsaws and tractors says it will double its Charlotte workforce in the coming years. WFAE's Julie Rose reports: Husqvarna is the second Swedish company to relocate its North American headquarters from Augusta, Georgia to Charlotte in the last month. Appliance-maker Electrolux already announced plans to bring more than 700 jobs here. Husqvarna spun off from Electrolux several years ago and says it will bring 160 jobs as it relocates. What does Charlotte have that's so attractive to the Swedes? "Phenomenal airport, excellent airport," says Mike Jones, without hesitation. Jones is the North American President of Husqvarna. "Our company's based in Stockholm, Sweden and we have a lot of people that come over from Europe to spend time with us at our headquarters here and having an airport that makes it easy to get in and out of certainly helps us a lot." Incentives also help. Husqvarna will receive approximately $2.75 million in state and local incentives if it makes good on a promise to hire 160 people over the next five years. State officials say if the company falls short, it won't get the money. The new jobs will be mostly engineering and administrative with an average salary of $79,453. However, many of the positions - Jones wouldn't say exactly how many - already belong to employees who are just transferring from Augusta.