Chinese Firm Buys Majority Interest in Diamond Canada (Updated)
A Chinese conglomerate has bought majority control of Diamond Aircraft's London, Ontario, factory, the company confirmed today. Wanfeng Aviation, a subsidiary of a larger holding company, completed a deal on Dec. 13 that conveys 60 percent of Diamond Aircraft Canada to Wanfeng. Diamond's Austria company remains unaffected by the agreement, except some production will be moved from Austria to Canada.
Peter Maurer, Diamond Canada CEO, told AVweb Tuesday that the new DA62 twin and DA40 single--both the diesel and gasoline version--will be moved to Canada in their entirety. Heretofore, the aircraft components have been manufactured in Austria and shipped to London for final assembly. Maurer said the factory in London will expand its production capability and workforce to manufacture those aircraft. The DA20 single will continue to be built in Canada.
Meanwhile, Diamond Austria will continue to build the DA42 twin and other aircraft in its developmental works. The company's service networks will remain in place, Maurer said. Significantly, Diamond Canada will retain rights to the suspended single-engine D-Jet, which has been under development since 2005. Maurer said substantial work has been done on the project and that it will be reviewed for possible resumption.
Wanfeng is based in Zhejiang and includes aircraft manufacturing, robotics and financial services in its business portfolio. Diamond currently manufactures aircraft in China, but the Wanfeng deal has no bearing on that operation.