The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) published aircraft manufacturer shipments for 2019. After the report, Jim Moore, AOPA Editor-Web said, “Cirrus continues to lead the single-engine piston market by a wide margin, with sales of the SR22T alone climbing to 200 units in 2019, up from 180 delivered in in 2018. [But] Cirrus saw its older piston models slip in sales . . . (1)” I’m not sure Jim has seen the 6th Generation Cirrus SR20. It’s cutting edge, not an older piston model.
Right now, the big General Aviation story is training aircraft shipments. But Cirrus doesn’t focus on that market. For decades, Cirrus has pursued a new market – piston personal transportation that delivers high performance, safety and luxury. When specific customers are narrowly targeted business writers recognize it as market re-segmentation.
Cirrus SR Series shipments last year were 384 v. 380 in 2018, which scores another record for Cirrus Aircraft since the 2008 Great Recession (see Table 1). A quick glance into the stats does show fewer SR20’s delivered last year 53 v. 65 in the prior period. But here’s the rest of the story.
Cirrus reps have said, the company “suppresses” SR20 sales because that model has a lower margin than the SR22 Series. If accurate, the manufacturing tactic is reflected in the stats. Shipments for their highest margin product, the SR22T Turbo were up 11% over the prior year. Normally aspirated SR22 production runs have averaged 132 units annually for the past half-decade. Like other manufacturers, it appears Cirrus adjusts model production runs for optimal profitability. For years, steady customer demand has maintained more than a 6-month delivery wait on 6th Generation SR Series airplanes.
For those new to the Cirrus brand here’s a recap: “In 2000, Cirrus received Type Certificate for a composite piston aircraft, with a larger wing and larger fuel capacity and more powerful engine – the SR22. Just three years later, the SR22 became the world’s best-selling general aviation airplane . . . and has continued to hold that distinction every year since [17 years. But] holding the title of the best-selling general aviation aircraft every year has not stopped Cirrus from pursuing continuous innovation on the SR Series aircraft (2).”
For those watching, Cirrus is relentlessly pursuing a new market for single-engine turbofan personal transportation, which they coined “The Personal Jet.” Cirrus is holding deposits from more than 500 pilots who want to take delivery; however, a ramp-up in production of the Cirrus SF50 Personal Jet has not yet begun. This new market appears opaque to aviation journalists. Many perceive incorrectly that Cirrus has entered the Very Light Jet market (VLJ).
Cirrus has over 7,800 aircraft operating in more than 60 countries. Congratulations to the entire Cirrus Aircraft team.
Table 1. Historic Cirrus Aircraft Shipments
|Year||SF50 Jet||SR22 Turbo||SR22||SR20||SRV||Total|
Note: Cirrus factory installed STC Tornado Alley Turbonormalized (TAT) shipments are not listed in GAMA statistics. From 2006 – 2010, the FAA Registration for Cirrus planes with TAT systems is “SR22.” See reference info. (3) below.
- Jim Moore, “Piston Trainer Surge Lifted GA Market. GAMA: 2019 BizJet Deliveries Also at 10-Year High,” AOPA News & Videos, February 19, 2020
- Cirrus marketing website, About the Company, “History of Cirrus Aircraft,” www.CirrusAircraft.com, 2020
- * Jeffrey S. Brewer, “Cirrus has the best-selling Turbocharged Airplane,” statistics by year for factory installed Tornado Alley Turbo Normalized STC Shipments, phone interview Matt Bergwall, Cirrus Product Marketing Manager, www.wikiWings.com, circa April, 2014
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