Cirrus Owner Eyes 2013 Jet Rollout
The chairman of the Chinese company that bought Cirrus Aircraft says the next version of the company's SF-50 Vision Jet will be rolled out before the end of this year and certification flight testing will begin in 2014, Meng Xiangkai told the South China Morning Post. Meng also said China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) plans further acquisitions and expansion to become a world force in GA. "We have more acquisition plans but our globalization push isn't just limited to mergers and acquisitions," he said. "We also aim to set up overseas centers for research and development, marketing and client services." Cash-rich CAIGA bought struggling Cirrus in 2011 and soon after announced a $100 million investment in reviving the largely dormant jet project.
Although the terms of the purchase have never been disclosed, CAIGA's boss seems to think he got value for the money and boasted to the newspaper about Cirrus's increased market share and relatively strong order book (511 aircraft in 2012). Meng was coy about which company might be his next target but said its acquisition plans are aggressive enough to force postponement of an initial public offering on the stock market. "We had a relatively aggressive plan targeting a public listing by 2015," he said. "But the plan looks a bit remote now. We would like to focus on business development first," he said.