Piper Reports On Sales Increases, Announces New Business Unit


Piper Aircraft vice president of sales, marketing and customer support Ron Gunnarson reported on current market conditions and announced a new company division during a press briefing today (July 25). He said the market was “pulling well” last year.

Piper delivered 236 aircraft in 2022, he said, a 14 percent increase over 2021. He said this year is on track for about a 10 percent increase. He called the cooling of growth after post-pandemic surge “stabilizing, leveling, whatever term you want to use.” But he called the modest slowdown in the expanded market a “good thing” as the previous rate of growth cannot be sustainable in the long term.

Gunnarson said another primary marker for market demand is the inventory of preowned aircraft available for sale. At present, he said, that availability represents less than 5 percent of the total fleet. He said a more normal rate would be at least 15 percent. New-aircraft dealer inventory is another measure, he said, adding that right now, availability of top-line M-Class Piper models (350s, 500s and 600s) “is zip—zilch—zero.”

In good times, aircraft manufacturers are prone to flood the market, Gunnarson said. Supply and labor issues that have slowed growth “keep us in the real world. It’s like a governor on an engine.”

Later in the press conference, Gunnarson announced a brand-new business entity for Piper known as Piper Industrial Manufacturing Company (PIMCO). Over the past four years, he said, Piper has invested $30 million in facility upgrades, including investment in 3D printing machinery.

The new machinery includes an Alston stretch press, HP Jet Fusion 5210 3D printer, Amada Ensis 4020 and EML2515, Eaton Leonard 4B 42 Electric, PMA/Creaform, Quintas Bag Press, Cincinatti 30V and an Integrex IS400 S. All of these machines not only increase Piper’s capability to manufacture parts in-house, but also to speed prototyping. Piper also plans to offer services based on the new equipment to outside customers, both within the aviation industry and to other industries, as well.

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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