Promising Company Hits Snags
One of the most promising aircraft
in the two seat GA market is having some teething pains in getting
it's North American production nailed down. OMF has confirmed that
they have undertaken a series of temporary layoffs designed to
bridge a gap in capital availability.
OMF has been quick to respond to ANN inquiries, and unusually
upfront (for this industry) about what can only be considered some
disappointing issues. Statements from OMF explain the situation,
"OMF GmbH (the German parent company) is experiencing financial
challenges. The new North American company, OMF Aircraft, is also
experiencing challenges as it starts up its operations."
Layoffs in late
November, from the Quebec manufacturing facility, has resulted in
staffing reductions of fifteen people... leaving eight folks to
continue operations. Major issues involved in the layoff decision
include interruptions on the flow of parts to OMF, delays in cash
receipts under current funding agreements, and the usual problems
involved in bringing new GA aircraft to full production.
Laid-off employees may be recalled fairly shortly--depending on
when funding shortages are resolved. The company is "hopeful that a
solution is at close at hand." Once the resolution is in place, OMF
believes it can resume normal operations within a period of eight
The current layoffs affect production staffers. The management
team and the company's product support personnel remain in place,
where their primary focus is to resolve the financial situation and
support their clientele, while also continuing to establish the
North American parts supplier base.
Unfortunately; the result of this is that production will be
interrupted for a while... and at a time when sales were showing
some perceptible improvement for the agile high-wing side-by-sider.
Product support for the existing fleet remains "a top
OMF staffers are quick to note that the difficulties that they
are experiencing is not any indication of a lack of faith in their
North American manufacturing plans, and that a North American
presence will ultimately allow them to be "much more responsive to
our customers, as well as allowing us to supply our products more
Development of the Symphony 135D diesel powered two-seater and
the four-place Symphony 250 remain uninterrupted. More info to