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Sun, Feb 20, 2022

Van's Announces Begrudging ~6% Price Increase

Lycoming Jacks Price Up 14% Again for Second Time In Last Year

In a notice to customers, Van's outlined the state of the company and the steps they're taking to keep the company in good health, from increased interaction with customers; increasing the output of their manufacturing; and limiting sales of raw materials, aircraft and crates to those in the Van's community.

More bad news is never a good thing to hear, but fans of Van's Aircraft have to at least give credit to the company for shooting straight. Price increases are on the way, with an RV kit price bump going into effect on Sunday, February 20th. Lycoming's prices have again increased across the board, which will go into effect on the Van's site on March 15th. 

The average increase across the board is in the neighborhood of 6%, but RV kits in standard and QuickBuild flavors will increase in accordance with their component price increase seen on the manufacturing side. The exact price bump will depend on the aircraft and the materials used within. Van's warns that while this increase has been pre-announced this does not set a standard and future orders shouldn't expect similar forewarning to get their foot into a closing door.

Lycoming has, for the second time in a year, also increased their pricing. Back in June of 2021, the manufacturer increased the cost of engines and many supporting parts around 14% -- but then again price increases from Lycoming is a pretty regualr, if disappointing, event. The next price increase goes into effect on March 14th at Van's, ranging from 10% to 15% depending on the product. Van's says that new orders must take delivery in 2022, or as soon as the company completes the engine. Delivery dates must be scheduled for this year for those ordered before the price increase. 

The news is not wonderful, though not entirely unexpected. Van's has long appeared to keep thinner margins than many legacy aircraft manufacturers - it's an enthusiast's company, a rare breed where the executives love their products, maybe even more than their customers. It's hard to say I could pluck any one of the upper brass from the 'big names' in aviation - the brands who sell a half-a-million dollar iteration of a 50-year old aircraft - and have them eagerly walk me through its build process from prop to tail, but I would happily bet that I could from Van's. They've done what they can to fight rising costs, like they did earlier this year when faced with ballooning shipping costs for foreign-made kits. Back then, they levied a fairly minor shipping charge, about  a tenth of the extra cost incurred on their end. Being forthcoming and limiting customer's financial damage is far better than a lot of companies in the modern economy, that's for sure. 

A range of culprits for rising prices across the economy have been floated, with a range of problems that include supply chain issues, delays in raw materials, changing suppliers, increasing shipping costs, and monetary inflation (whether transitory or not is irrelevant, telling customers that "it's temporary" doesn't make the financial hit smart any less). Van's has expanded their production capabilities, hoping to accommodate the large increase in order volume they've experienced since the beginning of the pandemic, but simultaneous growth and maximum production is not an easy task.

For those wanting to avail themselves of the most affordable Van's kit pricing and get their order in under the wire, they have until Sunday, February 20th at 23:59 Pacific (UTC-8). Similarly, Lycoming's pricing goes into effect on March 15th. 



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