Cirrus Asks for Another Loan From City
It appears as though Cirrus Aircraft is still barely treading water, even with their new Chinese Government ownership. Cirrus has gone back to the city of Grand Forks, to ask for an additional million dollar loan. Cirrus says it will use the loan to purchase an autoclave and add a few jobs to their payroll, but they asked for the money without providing any written plans. The city is now pressing Cirrus for a business plan, to demonstrate how they are going to use the money, if the city provides it, again.
I don’t think it is out of line for the city to ask for a business plan, especially since Cirrus reportedly lost $54 million just last year.
Chairman Doug Christensen raised a pertinent point. He stated “So if your parent won’t give you the money please make a case why we should.” Obviously the Chinese government decided it was a good idea to purchase Cirrus for $210 million, what’s another million, if it makes business sense for the aircraft manufacturer.
It is a very tough time we are living in for aircraft manufacturing. In late 2008 Mooney Aircraft halted all production of their aircraft, it took them 18 months to sell the 25 aircraft they had in stock. They have not sold an airplane since. In late 2011 Diamond Aircraft sold the majority share of its holdings to an investment group in Dubai. In mid 2012 Hawker Beechcraft entered into bankruptcy. The only reason Cessna is doing as well as they are is because they manufacture a huge range of business jets that command a better margin. Despite having the benefit of jet sales, between 2009 – 2010 Cessna cut their production staff by more than half.
I hope Cirrus gets the money and hires the employees with it. I too am in the business of “General Aviation” and I would be happy to see a turn-around and some growth in the industry.
WDAZ 8 Television