Cirrus Design has gone to a three-day work week (from four) in an effort to balance production against reduced demand. Company CEO Alan Klapmeier also told the Duluth News Tribune last week that the 2009 target for introduction of its SRS light sport model will be pushed back because of a slowdown in the LSA sector. Development of the Vision SJ50 personal jet will not be affected. "We're looking at the situation progressively, on a week-by-week basis," he said. Without an increase in demand, the three-day week will be in place at least until the end of the year, Klapmeier told the newspaper.
In September, Cirrus laid off 100 staff in Duluth and at its composites parts plant in Grand Forks, N.D. and reduced production from four aircraft a day to three aircraft a day. Business is off about 10 percent at Cirrus, and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association reported that, overall, sales of piston aircraft were down 16 percent in the first half of 2008. Klapmeier said he's hoping for a spike in demand toward the end of the year as customers cash in on an accelerated depreciation measure passed by Congress earlier this year.