Citing a need to enhance efficiency and redirect resources, Cirrus Design this week eliminated about 100 jobs at its plants in Duluth and Grand Forks, in Minnesota. "We're dealing with some straightforward realities," company president Brent Wouters told the Duluth News Tribune. "We're in a difficult economic environment that has impacted the aviation business. We're not selling as many airplanes as we'd hoped to this year." Wouters said the cuts resulted mainly from a decision to keep production rates at about 14 airplanes per week, instead of ramping up to 16 as had been planned. Also, resources are being reallocated to maximize efficiency and assign more workers to the SRS light-sport aircraft and the Vision jet projects. The company now has about 1,230 workers.
Cirrus shipped 10 percent fewer airplanes in the first six months of this year than it shipped in the same period the year before, which was better than the overall 16-percent drop in general aviation piston aircraft shipments. Wouters told the News Tribune that he considers any further cutbacks at Cirrus unlikely.