Cessna announced today it intends to build business jets in China in a joint venture with Aviation Industry Corp of China (AVIC) as part of a future plan to potentially build the entire Cessna line of aircraft in China. "The agreements together pave the way for a range of business jets, utility single-engine turboprops and single-engine piston aircraft to be manufactured and certified in China," Cessna said in a news release. Agreements were signed in China to negotiate a joint venture to build existing models of Cessna bizjets and to perhaps develop new models in the future at the China operations. Cessna also announced that it will negotiate with Chinese partners to develop an aircraft service network in China and other needed aviation infrastructure. "China recognizes general aviation offers the foundation to support its national air transportation needs for the future," CEO Scott Ernest said in a statement. "These agreements will help take the industry to the next level." It was not clear what, if any, impact the deal would have on Cessna's Kansas operations.
The announcement was made in advance of the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (ABACE) and could very well herald an influx of joint ventures in China. As the aviation market shifts from traditional areas like North America and Europe, the industry is increasingly dependent on emerging markets like China for growth. China has made it clear that participation in its market by foreign companies will require investment by them in Chinese enterprises. Cessna has a manufacturing footprint in China. Its entry-level 162 Skycatcher LSA is built in China but assembled in Kansas.