Cessna Edges Cirrus In Numbers Game

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Alan Klapmeier called it correctly. The engaging and unflappable president of Cirrus Design told AVweb at AirVenture 2004 he didn't expect to sell more airplanes than Cessna last year, even though he was winning the numbers game at the end of the first two quarters. He was almost wrong. Cessna edged Cirrus by only 12 sales of four-place piston aircraft in 2004, edging the Duluth company by a margin of 565 to 553. "I'm pleased but I'm never satisfied," Klapmeier told the Duluth News Tribune. Cirrus increased sales by 18 percent and Cessna's output of four-place singles (172s and 182s) was up 10 percent. Cirrus is expecting 600 deliveries in 2005 and has been consistently beating its old sales records. But Cirrus also flew over an important milestone with the record-breaking year. "We can actually say we're a profitable company, now," Klapmeier said. "2004 clearly proved the point that we're going to pay back our investors."