Who are Cirrus Aircraft’s Target Customers?

Matt Bergwall, Cirrus Product Marketing Manager, describes the typical Cirrus Aircraft

English: Cirrus SR20, 2012 Model, West Houston Airport, Texas (photo credit: WikiWings)
English: Cirrus SR20, 2012 Model, West Houston Airport, Texas (photo credit: WikiWings)

target customer as a person who is the owner and operator of the plane.  They fly for business and pleasure, and they have a regional travel need. A typical customer is not comparing a conventional tail wheel or multi-engine with a Cirrus Aircraft.

In 2012, the typical target customer for a new Cirrus Aircraft probably decided among the competing manufacturer’s listed below.  From the GAMA report I found 592 piston single-engine airplane shipments within the typical target market segment.

  • Cirrus Aircraft SR20 & SR22 = 253 or 43% market share
  • Cessna 172, 182 & 182T = 207 or 35%
  • Cessna Corvalis 350 & 400TT = 1 or 0%
  • Diamond DA40 = 93 or 16%
  • Bonanza G36 = 12 or 2%
  • Piper Warrior, Archer & Arrow = 26 or 4%

For pilots seeking personal transportation in a 4 seat high performance piston single-engine aircraft (200 hp or more) Cirrus competitiveness rises even higher. In 2012, only 335 aircraft shipments filled that target segment.  From the above numbers, you need to remove 140 shipments of Cessna 172 airplanes 180 hp; eliminate Diamond DA40 180 hp; subtract 20 Warriors 160 hp and 4 Archers 180 hp.  Here’s the revised target segment of aircraft:

  • Cirrus Aircraft SR20 & SR22 = 253 or 76% market share
  • Cessna 182 & 182T = 67 or 20%
  • Cessna Corvalis 350 & 400TT = 1 or 0%
  • Bonanza G36 = 12 or 4%
  • Piper Arrow = 2 or 1%

Some potential buyers are on either edge of the typical target segment group for Cirrus Aircraft.  Those with a mission to comfortably carry more than four passengers. They may compare a six seat pressurized Piper Malibu Mirage with Cirrus, and those weighing a plane like the Maule with both cross-country and back-country utility to the comforts of a Cirrus.

Some buyers are non-pilots and acquire the plane they’ll train in to get a license.  The technology, speed, comfort, utility and safety features are significant factors for Cirrus Aircraft buyers. For 2013, Cirrus Aircraft increased useful load by 200 lbs in the SR22 and now offers 60/40 flex seating for 5 as a standard feature in both the SR20 and SR22.

Is the market shifting for personal transportation with light general aviation aircraft? Next week I’ll post a discussion on target segment numbers by manufacturer for certified piston single-engine shipments in the first half of 2013 as reported by GAMA.

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