Planemaker Cuts Back As Part Of "Operational Excellence
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 08.22.08 0900 MDT: Confirming
numerous reports that have surfaced from suppliers in recent days,
on Friday Eclipse Aviation announced it will cut back production of
the Eclipse 500 very-light jet, cutting about 650 jobs at the
planemaker's facilities nationwide.
Eclipse says the workforce reduction is the result of an
"operational excellence strategy," introduced by Acting CEO Roel
Pieper at AirVenture in Oshkosh last month. The cuts amount to a 38
percent reduction in the company's total employment ranks, and
includes temporary workers and people employed less than six
"The reduction is an effort to achieve financial stability as
soon as possible," the company said in a brief statement.
Eclipse is laying off approximately 650 employees affecting all
departments and facilities, including its production facilities in
Albuquerque, NM; and service centers in Gainesville, FL; and
"In my effort to take Eclipse Aviation to the next level of
growth and sustainability, I am 100 percent focused on operational
excellence and a plan to achieve it," said Pieper. "Financial
stability is critical for this company and unfortunately, a
reduction in workforce was necessary to achieve it. I am confident
this action will set the company on the path to profitability so
that we can continue to lead the very light jet category."
A direct result of the job cuts will be a slowdown in the
production of Eclipse 500s through 2008, though the company did not
give exact numbers on how production levels will be affected. The
company adds it intends to increase production back to previous
levels, "and higher," in 2009.
Continuing its newfound hardline with the media, Eclipse
pointedly added it will not release any further information, or
conduct any interviews, at this time.