Piper: Latin American Market Stirring
Fresh from showing its M600 turboprop for the first time at Chile’s FIDAE exposition, Piper is touring the airplane throughout South America and seeing signs that the aircraft market is waking up. Piper’s Latin American sales executive, Dan Lewis, told AVweb that the company has tripled its sales forecast for Brazil and demand in the northern cone of South America looks promising.
The strong sellers are likely to be Piper’s two turboprops, the M500 and M600. “We think there’s a big market for it. We’ve seen the decline of the twin-engine turboprop and more interest in the single-engine turboprops,” Lewis says. The buyers are a combination of private owners and businesses and at least for the turboprops, most of the aircraft have dedicated pilots. “Most of them are farmers or businessmen trying to get from point A to point B across the country,” Lewis adds.
As for the piston training market, the outlook is less bullish. “It’s always weak. It’s a challenge to break into. It’s not an easy situation when we’re a build-to-order company. But the market looks like it's coming back as the fleet ages,” says Lewis. Latin America typically accounts for 8 to 12 percent of Piper sales, but Lewis says Piper is realistic about growth. “If it gets to 15 percent in the next few years, I’ll be pleasantly surprised,” he says.
This week at Sun ‘n Fun, Piper will be showing its entire line of aircraft. See them in booth MD-9A.