VERO BEACH, Fla., Jan. 3, 2011 – This past year, Piper Aircraft Inc. significantly strengthened its position as a global airplane manufacturer.
“During 2010, the first full year since Imprimis acquired Piper, the company made memorable and notable progress in a number of important areas,” said Piper CEO Geoffrey Berger. “We delivered considerably more aircraft, introduced and stepped up development of an all-new single-engine business jet, and readied the company for an unprecedented global push in 2011.”
Deliveries, Employment Up
While fourth quarter and full-year Piper deliveries will not be publicly announced until an industry-wide event in February 2011, production activity at the company’s Vero Beach, Fla., manufacturing campus during 2010 was up by more than 75 percent compared to 2009, despite a significant overall decline in industry deliveries by other manufacturers. This substantial market share increase reflected Piper’s aggressive globalization efforts.
The company announced the all-new PiperJet Altaire in October and added more than 140 engineers to the business jet’s development team with planned certification and deliveries set for 2014. Moreover, total Piper employment grew by several hundred employees to support the increased production.
Globalization, Fleet Sales Up
Piper opened two new global sales offices: one to serve the Americas region and one in Amsterdam to support the European, Middle East and Africa region. The company’s third regional sales office in Brunei was reinforced with the addition of the company’s director of global fleet sales to enlarge the company’s presence in this expanding segment, particularly in the Asia/Pacific region.
Already, Piper extended its global reach in 2010 with fleet sales of more than 45 aircraft to pilot training institutions throughout Asia/Pacific and the United States. While Piper is not disclosing fleet purchase prices, retail value of the single-engine and twin-engine aircraft sold to flight training institutions worldwide in 2010 totals about $21 million, up considerably from the previous year.
In addition, the overall globalization initiative has already begun to pay off with foreign sales accounting for more than half of the company’s new aircraft sales by dollar and unit volume for the first time in recent Piper history. Piper streamlined its senior leadership team and added strong talent in a number of important functional areas, including sales, marketing, customer support, engineering and operations.
Reinvestment Strategy in Product Development, Core Operations
Following the Imprimis acquisition in 2009, Piper has developed a financial strategy to invest new capital alongside internal free cash flow in the company’s long-term success focused in a number of critical areas. The most important step was to update the promise of the PiperJet program by creating an all-new efficient design with much larger cabin, announced during NBAA in October as the clean-sheet PiperJet Altaire.
With Imprimis' support in a challenging economic environment and a weak market for new aircraft, Piper has been able to expense significant PiperJet Altaire development investments as incurred. The company's shareholders are dedicated to bringing the innovative single-engine business jet to fruition while also investing to modernize Piper’s existing products and operations to ensure that Piper products are profitable and sustainable going forward.
This long-term investment approach, funded with equity rather than debt, is providing Piper with a more stable capital backing compared to some of its peers. Simultaneously, Piper made significant strides in realigning costs through targeted cutbacks at a time when the company was overall growing employment and accelerating PiperJet Altaire development. Collectively, the company’s substantial accomplishments in 2010 were impressive in a challenging industry environment.
2010 Chronological Accomplishments
By quarter, Piper’s 2010 accomplishments are enumerated here.
Piper selected Aviall Services Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Boeing Co., as its global parts distributor, providing supply chain support for the company’s global dealer network and individual customers.
Piper began distributing the PiperSport light sport aircraft manufactured by Czech Sport Aircraft.
Piper announces commitment to globalization of the company at the Singapore Air Show.
Piper names industry veteran Randy Groom as executive vice president to head sales, marketing and customer support.
The company celebrates 50th anniversary of Piper Cherokee at Sun’n Fun in Lakeland, Fla.
Piper appoints Chuck Glass head of global fleet sales, based in Brunei.
Piper selects advanced vision systems – Forward Vision Systems’ EVS-100 and EVS-600 Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) – for its M-class models, the Malibu, Matrix and Mirage.
PiperJet chooses DeCrane Aerospace and Propel Designs to develop more spacious interior improvements for the PiperJet Altaire.
Piper picks Mecaer Aviation Group, Borgomanero, Italy, to design and manufacture the landing gear system for the PiperJet Altaire.
Piper names Geoffrey Berger as CEO of the company; he is experienced as CEO, CFO and COO at a number of companies and led businesses involved in sophisticated manufacturing operations.
Piper launches PiperMatch™ program to make aircraft ownership more affordable.
Piper announces establishment of regional sales offices to serve the Americas, Asia/Pacific and the Europe/Middle East/Africa regions.
Piper names Drew McEwen director of Sales, Americas, located in Vero Beach.
Piper selects seat manufacturer Millennium Concepts to design and produce seats for the PiperJet Altaire.
Piper names Enrico Evers director of Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa, based at Lelystad Airport, near Amsterdam.
Piper displays broad, strong single-engine product line at National Business Aviation Association Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlanta (NBAA).
PiperJet officially renamed PiperJet Altaire, complete with much larger round fuselage design that gives customers a more spacious cabin to complement efficient acquisition and operating costs; unveiled at NBAA.
Piper picks Vero Beach contractor Summit Construction Management Inc. to modify manufacturing campus for assembly and completion of the PiperJet Altaire.
Piper selects L-3 Avionics Systems Trilogy™ ESI-2000 Electronic Standby Instrument as standard equipment for new PiperJet Altaire.
Piper supports Malibu/Mirage Owners & Pilots Association Convention with senior representatives and aircraft displays, including mockup of PiperJet Altaire.
PiperJet Altaire Advance introduced to make transition from any new M-Class to the new PiperJet Altaire attractive to company loyalists through reduced purchase price or deposit.
Piper exhibits mockup of PiperJet Altaire, displays other aircraft, at Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Aviation Summit in Long Beach, Calif.
Piper promotes Simon Caldecott to vice president, responsible for Manufacturing Operations, Manufacturing Engineering, Sustaining Engineering and Supply Chain.
Piper sells fleet of six Piper Seminole advanced training aircraft to Airline Transport Professionals (ATP), a nationwide firm specializing in airline pilot training and pilot career development.
Piper Aircraft promotes Vincent P. Zarrella and Jim Slaton to positions of increased responsibilities within Customer Service and Parts.
Piper sells fleet of 14 advanced training aircraft to premier Persian Gulf aeronautical college, consisting of four Piper Seneca Vs and 10 Archer IIIs.
About Piper Aircraft
Piper Aircraft Inc. is headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla. A global force in aviation, Piper offers nine efficient models of single-engine and twin-engine trainer, personal and business aircraft. Piper Aircraft designs, manufactures, sells and supports the strongest and broadest single-engine product line in the industry, from high-performance pistons to turboprops to the world’s most fuel-efficient seven-person business jet, the PiperJet Altaire. With economical acquisition and operating costs, Piper airplanes deliver the best values available today and into the future. Piper is a member of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.