Austrian-based Diamond Aircraft Group has been acquired by the Chinese company that purchased Diamond’s North American operations last year. Almost a year to the day that Wanfeng Aviation Industry Co. Ltd. bought Diamond’s London, Ontario, plant, the Chinese firm bought the Austrian holdings of sole shareholder Christian Dries, who founded Diamond 25 years ago. Wanfeng said in a joint announcement it intends to increase production and sales, expand distribution and support networks and keep designing new aircraft.
“We were attracted to Diamond’s leadership position in the market,” Wanfeng Chairman Bin Chen said in a statement. “Based on this excellent foundation, we intend to take Diamond to a long-term leadership position in worldwide general aviation.” Wanfeng is one of China’s biggest companies, particularly in the auto sector, and has the horsepower to invest in Diamond’s growth, something Dries said was a major factor in his decision to sell. “Diamond is my life’s work. In the interest of a successful long-term future, we needed to find the right partner to continue our good work,” Dries said. “Wanfeng and specifically Mr. Bin Chen share my vision of the future of general aviation and are investing for the right reasons, with a long-term strategy and the resources to see their vision through.” Last year’s acquisition of the North American division resulted in a separation of the Diamond product lines and the role of the Canadian operations was not discussed in the release.