|Cessna Wants To Build Jets In China|
By Russ Niles, Editor-in-Chief
Cessna announced today it intends to build business jets in China in a joint venture with Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) as part of a future plan to potentially build the entire Cessna line of aircraft in China. “The agreements together pave the way for a range of business jets, utility single-engine turboprops and single-engine piston aircraft to be manufactured and certified in China,” Cessna said in a news release. Agreements were signed in China to negotiate a joint venture to build existing models of Cessna bizjets and to perhaps develop new models in the future at the China operations. Cessna also announced that will negotiate with Chinese partners to develop an aircraft service network in China and other needed aviation infrastructure. “China recognizes general aviation offers the foundation to support its national air transportation needs for the future,” CEO Scott Ernest said in a statement. “These agreements will help take the industry to the next level.” It was not clear what, if any impact the deal would have on Cessna’s Kansas operations.
The announcement was made in advance of the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) and could very well herald an influx of joint ventures in China. As the aviation market shifts from traditional areas like North America and Europe, the industry is increasingly dependent on emerging markets like China for growth. China has made it clear that participation in its market by foreign companies will require investment by them in Chinese enterprises. Cessna has a manufacturing footprint in China. Its entry-level 162 Skycatcher LSA is built in China but assembled in Kansas.
BEIJING, China, March 23, 2012 — Cessna Aircraft Company, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) are signing two strategic agreements to jointly develop general and business aviation in the People’s Republic of China. The agreements together pave the way for a range of business jets, utility single-engine turboprops and single-engine piston aircraft to be manufactured and certified in China.
The first agreement between AVIC and Cessna/Textron is an overarching agreement between these companies that is intended to lead to the formation of joint ventures that will pursue various activities pertaining to the development of general aviation businesses in China, including the establishment of an aircraft service network in China.
The second is a specific cooperation agreement between Cessna Aircraft Company, AVIC Aviation Techniques Co., LTD (AAT), and the Chengdu government to enter into negotiations to establish a joint venture to produce mid-size Cessna business jet models, as well as a potential new product for the business jet market.
Scott Ernest, Cessna president and CEO, says: “We are extremely pleased to be entering into these strategic agreements. China’s market potential is tremendous and therefore represents an exciting opportunity for Cessna. China recognizes general aviation offers the foundation to support its national air transportation needs for the future. These agreements will help take the industry to the next level.”
Within the next year, Cessna and AVIC are seeking to launch joint venture companies which will focus on implementing the initial phase of the strategic agreements.
Cessna is the world’s leading general aviation company. Since its inception in 1927, Cessna has designed, produced and delivered more than 192,500 airplanes around the globe. This includes more than 6,100 Citation business jets, making it the largest fleet of business jets in the world. Today, Cessna has two principal lines of business: aircraft sales and aftermarket services. Aircraft sales include Citation business jets, Caravan single-engine utility turboprops, single-engine piston aircraft and lift solutions by CitationAir. Aftermarket services include parts, maintenance, inspection and repair services. In 2010, Cessna delivered 535 aircraft, including 179 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of $2.6 billion. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at cessna.com.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at textron.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the risk that the parties will not reach agreement on the specific terms of new joint ventures or that the timing of establishing the new business ventures is delayed; risks and uncertainties related to the launching of new products or programs which could result in unanticipated delays or expenses; performance issues with key suppliers, subcontractors or business partners; changes in worldwide economic and political conditions that impact demand for our products, interest rates and foreign exchange rates; risks and uncertainties related to establishing new facilities; and risks related to doing business internationally.