Cirrus continues record sales
Cirrus Design Corp. is again on a record tear for airplane sales and production this year. During the first nine months of 2006, the Duluth-based company has churned out 529 airplanes, besting last year's production for the same period by 18 perc...
Cirrus Design Corp. is again on a record tear for airplane sales and production this year. During the first nine months of 2006, the Duluth-based company has churned out 529 airplanes, besting last year's production for the same period by 18 percent, according to figures recently released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
As of the end of September, Cirrus' 2006 sales surpassed $218 million. That's nearly 25 percent more revenue than Cirrus booked during the first three quarters of last year.
The Cirrus SR22 is now the best-selling fixed-wing aircraft on the planet, with 403 of them delivered to pilot owners during the first nine months of 2006, according to GAMA.
The market for Cirrus continues to broaden. In all, 24 percent of Cirrus' sales through September went to customers living outside the United States. That compares with the company exporting about 15 percent of its production in 2005.
Kate Dougherty, a spokeswoman for Cirrus, anticipates that Cirrus' exports will continue to grow with the opening of new markets in Chile and Thailand. She said sales to Brazil have been especially strong. The company is positioning itself to enter other emerging markets, as well.
"China, India and Indonesia are going to be huge for us," Dougherty said. "There's lots of growth potential still left."
Cirrus' order book remains strong, too. About 200 customers are in line to buy planes.
So far this year, Cirrus has a slight edge over Cessna, in terms of shipments of four-seat aircraft. Through Sept. 30, 2006, Cessna had delivered only four fewer airplanes in this category than Cirrus. It should be noted that Cessna has closed the gap and beat out Cirrus as the largest producer of four-seat airplanes in years past.
"We're perfectly OK continuing to be No. 2." Dougherty said. "What matters most to us is producing the best, customer-oriented airplane on the market."