What Does The Future Hold For The Company In His Hands?
The September 13
announcement sent shivers through the collective spine of the GA
community: the unexpected news of the removal of Chuck Suma, New
Piper Aircraft's popular and highly visible President and CEO, in
favor of relative unknown James K. Bass. Silence is filled with
fear, and little was initially known about Bass's interests in
aviation... or in the New Piper Aircraft company.
One fact that was indisputable, however, was Bass's history. As was reported extensively in Aero-News,
Bass was previously CEO of Arizona-based Suntron
Electronics. Under his reign, the Arizona-based
electronics firm shut down plants in the United States and then
out-sourced its production forces to Mexico, subsequently expanding
those operations by nearly 300 percent.
The rumors started flying as fast as a Meridian at FL 210. Was
Bass brought in to perform a similar role with New Piper, by
relocating vital areas of this distinctly American company
overseas? And was his installation as CEO merely a foreshadowing of
a potential selloff of the iconic airplane manufacturer?
Little was known of Bass's plans... until he sat down with ANN's
Editor In Chief, Jim Campbell, for today's ASR (ANN Special Report)
Aero-Cast. He answers the BIG questions... NO plans to sell the
company, NO Plans for off-shoring, and MORE hiring to come... and
there's talk of "Re-Engining" a number of Piper's proud line. Want
to know more? Just listen in...
New Piper's James K. Bass Speaks With
Aero-News' E-I-C Jim Campbell
"Legacy can offer a dichotomy of strengths, and also potential
weaknesses..." Bass tells ANN, discussing Piper's rich heritage and
loyalty of its customers.
"From a problem standpoint, when you have such a tremendous
amount of legacy, there's also costs associated with that
Bass maintains there are no plans to relocate any part of Piper
overseas, nor are there any plans to sell the company. He
seems to be in for the long haul -- even moving his family to Vero
Beach -- and one thing seems certain: Bass sees a future for New
Piper, as well as a need for Piper to move firmly into the 21st
century. (Hint, there's talk of a Piper VLJ!)
"You should feel confident that we will be continuing to evolve,
adapt and enhance our airplanes to include more technology," says
Bass, "to make the plane easier, better and more capable."
Listen to today's ANN Special Report, and give us your feedback!
What do you think the future holds for New Piper Aircraft?