Company Trimming Eight Percent Of Workforce
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 09.04.08 1745
EDT: Tough economic times have resulted in more layoffs
within the general aviation industry. Cirrus Design announced
Thursday it will lay off 102 workers by the end of this week, as it
works to scale back overhead in the face of declining sales.
"We’re dealing with some straight-forward realities," said
Cirrus President and Chief Operating Officer Brent Wouters to the
Duluth News Tribune. "We’re in a difficult economic
environment that has impacted the aviation business. We're not
selling as many airplanes as we'd hoped to this year."
Wouters told ANN a total of 102 jobs will be eliminated,
including 25 resignations. Cirrus hopes to trim its workforce
by about eight percent, amounting to 73 jobs at the company's
headquarters in Duluth, and another 29 in its Grand Forks, MN
composites production facility.
"Cirrus has to be more flexible as a business to demand
fluctuations," Wouters told ANN. "We need to tighten up
Company co-founder and vice chairman Dale Klapmeier told
BusinessNorth.com sales have been "up and down this year," though
extremely poor in August. "It’s a rotten deal all
around," Klapmeier said, adding the layoffs range "from engineering
Cirrus hopes sales will rebound by the end of this year, as
buyers take advantage of tax incentives included in the federal
economic stimulus bill passed in January.
The Cirrus SR series has been the best-selling single-engine
piston general aviation aircraft line for the past six years. In
2007, Cirrus delivered 710 SR20 and SR22 aircraft, according to
figures released by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
The company shipped 76 planes through the second quarter of
Klapmeier stressed Cirrus is "still the strongest of any
aviation companies," and is weathering the current economy better
than others in the piston aircraft market.
The layoffs were expected to be completed by Thursday afternoon.
After the reductions, Cirrus will employ approximately 1,230
people, including 980 in Duluth.