Cirrus Design has laid off more than 100 employees and reduced production from four days a week to as few as three during some weeks until the end of the year to account for weaker demand for its single-engine general aviation aircraft. The slowdown will also impact planned 2009 introduction of its SRS two-seat light sport aircraft, although officials say the SJ50 single-engine jet development is proceeding as planned. The company in September reduced its workforce by 100 employees, 7% of the total, and reduced its output from four aircraft per day to three. The company now employs about 1,100.
Cirrus woes reflect a general downward trend in piston sales since the beginning of the year. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association reported a 16% decrease in shipments of piston-powered aircraft in the first half of the year, down to 1,034 compared with 1,226 in the first half of 2007.