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Tue, Jul 26, 2011

Cirrus Aircraft 'Reorganizes' For Fleet Strategy

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.


Dale Klapmeier

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 phone."

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.


Brent Wouters

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 China.
  • 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.

FMI: www.cirrusdesign.com

 


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