Textron Goes To Factory-Direct Sales

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Textron Aviation has confirmed that all its U.S. sales are being handled by factory representatives. That would appear to be the end of the extensive dealer network that sold Cessna aircraft for decades. Nikki Riemen, Textron's media and public relations manager for the piston and defense division, said the company is "focused on developing and building direct long-term relationships with our customers, ensuring they are positioned for success throughout their entire aircraft ownership experience." The shift in focus appears to be an ongoing process. "We have built and are expanding our dedicated team of piston sales experts within the U.S. to assist customers with the aircraft acquisition and ownership experience, as well as to connect customers directly to the engineers and experts who designed and built the aircraft," she said in an email to AVweb.

Last month, the company sent out a direct mail solicitation to some Cessna owners extolling the virtues of the Cessna 182. The colorful mailer encourages the existing Cessna owners to "learn more about the exciting performance and cost advantages of new aircraft ownership" and gives them a web address where they can schedule a demo flight. It also lists the number 844-448-9828 for "factory-direct sales representatives."