Prepares For Growth Under CAIGA Ownership
By John Ylinen
Cirrus Aircraft held their annual AirVenture Press Conference
today and provided a high level review of their recent past and how
they intend to move forward. Board Chairman Dale
Klapmeier provided some history on the Cirrus line. Highlighting
the 10 year anniversary of the SR22 with 3850 SR22 produced since
January 2001. He indicated that Cirrus has produced 4933 total SR
aircraft (SR20 and SR22) since the company started production. Mr.
Klapmeier noted that to celebrate the anniversary Cirrus Aircraft
produced 10 "Limited Commemorative Edition SR22 X." He noted
that only one is left.
Next Todd Simmons; newly promoted Vice President of Sales and
Marketing announced the new "Cirrus Mobility" redesign of the
Cirrus Aircraft Web sites. Mr. Simmons said: "Cirrus Aircraft
became the leader in private aviation by taking a revolutionary
approach to design, completely changing the concept of personal
mobility...and then never resting on our laurels. Now, that same
philosophy has been applied to our new, completely re-engineered
website and mobile app. Both make it easier than ever for you to
have instant access —through your laptop, tablet or smart
Cirrus intends to provide an extensive Cirrus knowledge base and
a continuously updated stream of news and information. "You will be
the first to know about company announcements, exciting new
features and ownership benefits, plus the many air shows, fly-ins
and gatherings on our worldwide calendar of events" Mr. Simmons
indicated. They intend to have this sophisticated new mobility site
to also be fully integrated with their social media presence on
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, helping customers also stay in touch
with the entire Cirrus community.
Mr. Simmons said "You already know that Cirrus helps take you
where you want to go, when you want to go there. Now, with these
new online tools, you can take Cirrus along with you!"
Mr. Simmons then talked about the recent Air Force contract for
training aircraft. He indicated that since that announcement other
countries and training organizations have contacted them wanting
information on the training aircraft specifications and how they
might also contract for same or similar requirements. He indicated
that a new fleet contract with Civil Aviation Flight School of
China (CAFSC) had closed for 20 aircraft. He indicated this is to
service just one province.
Next, President and CEO Brent Wouters provided an overview of
the status of the CAIGA merger. He indicated that from his
perspective there were 3 priorities:
- The CAIGA provides stability and a long term partner that is
interested in growing general aviation worldwide not just
- Cirrus needs to start an aggressive product development cycle
to provide the necessary products to satisfy this worldwide market.
First of course is to ramp back up the SF50 Jet program. He
indicated that they have been focused on closing the merger; but
now they are aggressively working with CAIGA to develop the
procedures and plans for capital growth, but they had nothing to
announce today and probably not for a while.
- With CAIGA; Cirrus will be more focused on international
growth. This includes the fleet market. They need to expand their
product line to include a range of training and other aircraft to
be successful in this area.
Responding to a question, Wouters indicated that the recent
sales force "reorganization" had been planned for some time, but
that he had actually held off on changes during the economic
downturn until its full extend was assessed for 3 years. He
indicated that they decided to reorganize to better use their sales
force and giver sales personnel large enough geographies to be
successful. He said they are focusing dedicated personnel on fleet
sales and special mission operations with aircraft outfitted with
sensor and imaging equipment. He indicated that only 5 of their
dedicated sales force had left the company.
He also indicated that Cirrus had made significant progress in
reducing their backlog in payables. That most of their suppliers
and those that they owed money had been made whole and that he is
making this a priority before the development phases as suppliers
are important to their success going forward.
On the question of Jet Depositors; Mr. Wouters said that during
the last 3 years; they had 90 individuals request their refunds out
of 436 total deposits; that as of now; all have been given their
refunds and that all 90 of those deposit positions had been resold.
He thanked Gary Black (Cirrus Customer Representative) for his
focus and assistance on this task. Aero-news had learned that many
deposit holders were having to wait months for their deposits which
was far longer than the 30 days specified in the contract.