Virginia Beach, Va.-STIHL Inc., based here, will expand its operation by 53,256 square feet. The expansion, scheduled for completion in spring 2012, represents a total capital investment of $10.3 million and the creation of 52 new jobs.

STIHL Inc. established its U.S. headquarters in Virginia Beach more than 30 years ago with less than 50 employees in a small 20,000-square-foot warehouse. Since then, STIHL has grown into more than one million square feet of manufacturing and administration space on 89 acres with more than 2,000 employees nationwide.

"Our Virginia Beach workforce has proven its ability to meet the demands of our customers, both here and overseas," says Peter Mueller, executive vice president for STIHL Inc. "Because of the manufacturing-friendly environment in Virginia Beach, we are able to compete domestically and globally, ultimately, allowing us to continue to expand our operations here."

The expansion adds 53,256 square feet of additional high performance manufacturing capacity to an existing building. STIHL’s capital investment includes $4.6 million in new machinery and tools to accommodate growth in the blow molding operation. The expansion will double the company’s blow molding capabilities enabling them to manufacture additional blow molded components on site, expand its line-winding operations for trimmers and relocate welding operations.