In an exclusive interview opportunity at SHOT Show 2017, SIG Sauer President and CEO Ron Cohen gave MT a rundown of the company.
Prior to the opening of this year’s SHOT Show, SIG Sauer had an invitation-only range event to showcase their products, new and old. Being a very professional range day, one spends the day with the company and gets a live fire review of all their newest model handguns, carbines, rifles, and accessories. It says on the webpage: “Born in Europe, Perfected in America,” and as the largest member of L&O Holding, SIG Sauer, consisting of SIG Sauer Inc., SIG Sauer GmbH, and its Swiss operations, has grown to become an international leader in the firearms industry.
SIG Sauer Inc., with a broad base of government and military clients that includes the US Navy SEALS, the Federal Air Marshals, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Coast Guard, has earned a reputation for quality and reliability, as nearly one out of every three law enforcement professionals in the US uses a SIG Sauer firearm.
The company can soon add the US Army to its user list, as the service has selected the SIG Sauer P320 to replace the 9mm pistol the service has used since the Cold War, ending a nearly 3-year search for a suitable replacement. In what is called the Modular Handgun System programme, the contract is worth a maximum of U$580 million, including ammunition and accessories for an undisclosed number of weapons. Once the company passes field testing, the P320 handgun will replace the Beretta M9A1.
As the company continues to cement its position as a global leader, SIG Sauer President and CEO Ron Cohen takes pride in unifying the three entities, through, “a cultural gap,” as he calls it, seeing, “ourselves as one entity, not financially divided.”
“We start to feel like a global company,” Cohen said. “We eliminate the dividing line, especially on the operational side, with no competing agendas whatsoever while strictly abiding by the laws of our governments. Our number one victory is creating a global group of people that believe in the fact we are one company!... In a global world you cannot separate countries, we have to act globally! We are committed to bringing technology to anywhere in the world.”
As the main offices of SIG Sauer GmbH in Eckernförde, Germany, are growing in personnel and infrastructure, “we are investing millions of Euros in modernising Eckernförde, 2016-2020,” he said. “The long-term vision of the last two years has been to grow talent, capital base, and capability, to provide weapon systems in Eckernförde. We are allowed to transfer technology to Germany, according to US law, i.e. we are working with German engineers to modify US weapons to German standards.”
Viewing Europe as a growth market for SIG Sauer in the years to come, Cohen explained: “The European market is shifting to threats for domestic law enforcement and requires a total retooling. Germany being the centre of Europe, and the Eastern Bloc waking up, we will be playing a strong role here and are very excited about these opportunities. GmbH is crucial here. We have a 10-year vision to position ourselves in the European community. Eckernförde is the future of SIG Sauer in Europe.”
With SIG Sauer GmbH taking care of those countries, he explained that SIG Sauer Inc. is working with the Mexican Navy, supported by the US government. “We are helping them to establish an upgrade programme to update assault rifles,” he informed MT. “This deal was strictly done with the US with no SIG Sauer GmbH technology! Weapon systems that get sold out of NATO will be developed in the US. If the US government permits us, based on the business case, we will transfer technology to other countries.”
“We take the extra mile,” he stressed. “We want to support the customer. SIG Sauer is focusing on the law enforcement, military, and global defence market with current weapon systems, daring to launch new weapon systems. With the willingness to go to the end of the world, and never giving up, a tremendous amount of resources are saved by cooperating with elite units.”
This is even more evident at the SIG Sauer Academy in New Hampshire, a, “unique training facility, offering courses in personal protection, gun safety, as well as expert law enforcement training to international clients,” Cohen said. “This also enables us to learn what the customer really wants; especially with the ability to show ballistics and optics to the elite by the elite coupled with engineers. This is something no one else can do.”
“As we do not have a government that protects us, being family-owned, innovation and quality is key to SIG Sauer,” Cohen concludes.