With growth in the single-engine turboprop market hard to come by, Daher nearly doubled its output with its acquisition of the Quest Aircraft Kodiak line in June 2019. As the two companies merge, Daher’s Nicolas Chabbert sees expansion opportunities in Kodiak’s Sandpoint factory.
In this AVweb podcast recorded last month, Chabbert said the Sandpoint plant is already building wings for the TBM and more work may follow. “They have some metal working capability that is of interest to us. In Tarbes we are known for metal stretching and forming and that is of interest to Kodiak,” Chabbert said.
But Daher will follow a methodical integration process. “The first thing you do in integration is try to understand the dynamics of the companies. I understand very well what’s going on in Tarbes, France. As far as Kodiak, I can relate to my time when I was with Mooney, where I understand the U.S. system. We need to understand what’s going on in Sandpoint, Idaho. We want to give ourselves 2020 to see how natural fits are going to take place,” Chabbert said.
The Kodiak buy expands Daher’s reach into the single-engine turbine utility market which, at about 160 airplanes a year, is smaller than the high-performance market. Daher owns about 20 percent of that segment. With its 208 Caravan, Textron shares the top of the market with the Pilatus PC-12 at just under 100 aircraft per year each. While the Pilatus flies both the high-performance and utility roles, the Kodiak competes more directly with the Caravan. About 90 Kodiaks were built since 2016, compared to 245 Caravans and 268 PC-12s.