Cirrus, Cessna Asked To Join Diamond In China

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With Diamond already establishing partnerships in China, a published report says Cirrus and Cessna have both been approached by the Chinese government to jointly produce existing models or to develop new aircraft for the Chinese market. According to Flight International, Xian General Aircraft Research Institute (XGARI) is in active discussions with Cirrus and Cessna to help satisfy what the Chinese government appears to believe is a burgeoning market there. "It's a nearly empty market in China. Only 350 [GA] aircraft are flying. We need more," XGARI President Li Daming told Flight International. "The market demand is urgent. We welcome a Western manufacturer to do joint design or joint manufacturing." However, Cirrus told AVweb yesterday that you shouldn't anytime soon count on a groundbreaking in China for a Cirrus factory. Cirrus spokesman John Bingham said China represents a huge market opportunity for the company, one that will be served initially with aircraft made in the U.S. of A. "In the shorter term we will be selling directly through a network of sales centers," he said. Bingham said a demonstrator for the Chinese market is now being built in Duluth and plans are for it to get a Chinese registration. Bingham said the company hasn't ruled out building planes in China in the future. "China represents such an opportunity we're not discounting anything at all," he said. Cessna was unable to provide a comment before our deadline.