Tiger Awaiting Further Investment

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The Catch-22 that often afflicts capital-intensive businesses like aircraft manufacturers has apparently affected production at Tiger Aircraft. The Martinsburg Journal reported last week that the company needs more money from its investors to ramp up production and meet demand for the sporty touring aircraft first made by Grumman in the 1970s. The West Virginia plant has been making airplanes since 2002 but in December of 2005 it laid off eight of 28 employees despite a fat order book. "Right now I have the biggest backlog (of customers) in the company's history," President Gene Criss said. But without another cash infusion, Tiger can't boost production to meet the demand. "It takes money to make money," Criss said. He said he expects things to turn around in the next few months. Criss said the company is developing some "new products" and he's hoping to more than double the workforce. He's also adamantly denying rumors the company may close. "I've heard those (rumors) for five years," Criss said. "But it's never happened and there's no plans to."