Company plans to step up production to three aircraft a day in effort to cater for increasing demand for its aircraft

Cirrus Design has more than tripled its North American sales force as it works towards production of over three aircraft a day across its SR20 and SR22 piston-single lines. The Duluth, Minnesota-based company is to expand its sales and distributor network in key markets, notably Australia, Europe and South Africa.

"We have expanded our sales force from seven to 24 in North America. The added sales muscle is needed to handle the growing demand for our aircraft and enable us to replace Cessna as the number one manufacturer of aircraft in the world," says John Bingham, Cirrus vice-president sales and marketing.

The new sales force is split into 12 regions. Each will operate from regional offices at key general aviation airports across North America and be employed directly by Cirrus. Elsewhere, the agents will operate through dealership arrangements. "We only have one agent in Europe - Netherlands-based General Enterprises - but we plan to establish up to 14 sales centres, which will also cover the Balkans," Bingham adds.

Production of the Cirrus piston- single line has risen from nine aircraft in 1999 to 397 in 2002. "This year we expect the number to climb to around 450, with the SR22 accounting for 75% of the total," says Bingham. He adds: "Daily output stands at two aircraft, but we are confident demand is strong enough to reach full capacity of 3.5 aircraft."

Source: Flight International