Tom Haines

Was Cirrus wrong to accept Chinese investment?

July 5, 2011 by Thomas B. Haines, Editor in Chief

In an AOPA Live video, Cirrus Aircraft CEO Brent Wouters decries the short-sighted nature of the U.S. investment community and explains why the company began talks with CAIGA, a Chinese firm that ultimately bought Cirrus in a deal that closed June 24. Despite its Chinese ownership (and the fact that Arcapita, an investment group in Bahrain, has owned a significant percentage of Cirrus since 2001), Wouters insists Cirrus is still a U.S. company that uses American workers and American vendors to build products for the U.S. and world market.

Still, some have criticized the move as a selling-out of U.S. leadership in aviation, one of the few American-dominated industries that still generates a positive trade balance. Meanwhile, Cessna builds the Skycatcher in China.  Many U.S. aviation companies have subassemblies built in Mexico and other countries. Continental Motors was purchased by a Chinese company earlier this year.

What do you think? Are U.S. aviation companies not trying hard enough to find American investment before selling out to foreign buyers or is the U.S. investment community too short-sighted in their strategies? Or, does none of it really matter in this global economy?

I’m looking forward to reading your perspective in the comments.

150 Responses to “Was Cirrus wrong to accept Chinese investment?”

  1. Alistair Cunningham Says:

    As long as the price was fair, the sale was economically neutral as regards national economies. The money that was earned from the sale can be re-invested in the US economy. If the USA made an economic loss on the sale, that implies that the selling price was too low.

  2. Bob Folkestad Says:

    If the Chinese export ½ of Cirrus’s volume to China, I am ok with it. If Americans buy 90% of the aircraft and there is no benefit to the consumer I am not alright with it. Is this really a reaction to the Stock market and are we that sensitive? I really believe that in the long run we need to keep our companies and Mfg in the USA. I was personally involved in a transaction where a foreign company purchased my employer, this was disaster.

    Heck maybe we can get lucky and get a bunch of R & D money from the Chinese and the Cirrus jet can go into production, management will get fat and lazy and run the company in the ground because the heat is off and some Americans can buy it back at a bargain! I think the real problem with Cirrus is there is no one on top with the vision or drive to make it work.

  3. Gary Moore Says:

    As for ownership – Cirrus – hasn’t been “American Owned” for quite some time – that it is now China seems more of a balance sheet question than one of philosophy.

    I don’t understand Mr. Folkestad’s comment about lack of vision at the top. Seems that all evidence is to the contrary. Cirrus is debt free, cash flow positive, producing and selling product – a product that is one of the most sought after items in it’s market. Geez – what else do could you want……

  4. Tom Kelly Says:

    I feel that ANYTIME an American asset outsources or sells to an overseas interest, there is an eroding of our economy. Our import/export ratio is way out of balance & I don’t see how this benefits anyone else outside of Cirrus. No pun intended; Cirrus “sold out”, but there is no turning back. The long term damage to our economy has been done & we will feel the repercussions in the years to come.

  5. R. Judy Says:

    I think Cirrus was in a “no-win” situation here…either they find an outside investor to keep the company going (both the SR-22 and SR-20 are down this year) and fuel the SF-50 or try borrowing some money. If they can’t borrow any money, then the whole company folds up and more American’s are out of a job.

    I don’t condone the investment of the Chinese…and there was an American investment group that was interested…but if there’s money at home, then let’s use it. I’d hate to see more Americans out of work and if it takes Chinese money to make that happen than so be it.

  6. Peter Reick Says:

    I applaud Mr Wouters…you have to go where the capital is ….and deal with people who are forward thinking..there is not much of that around here…everyone here expects a full ROI by tomorrow afternoon

  7. John Schreiber Says:

    Aircraft manufacturing is a dangerous business for investors. Mr. Wouters has done a good job bringing capital to the table, so Cirrus can continue operations and product development. For existing Cirrus consumers, there is an immediate benefit ie the survival of the TC holder.

  8. David Hersman Says:

    We have had nearly 100 years to see how well Communism works as an economic system. It is foolish for the USA to be so deeply involved and indebted to a country governed by an ideology so entirely different that our own – economically, politically, and spiritually. They need our free market in order to survive – and persecute us. We have caught China in many violations such as lead in paint, poison in the milk, etc. Why should we continue to finance those who hate everything we stand for? I love flying, but I will NEVER buy a Chinese airplane until the atheistic government crumbles and a new government is established that respects the rights endowed by our Creator. I’m an American!

  9. Steven F. Johannsen Says:

    Did Mr. Wouters really have a choice? If it wasn’t them, it would have been easily someone else. The US is becoming more and more for sale; that’s obvious – Cirrus. American BA Mfgs needs to loosen the reigns a bit and go with the flow to some degree by clearly defining and setting up boundaries, and the FEDS are now getting more involved as more and more Chinese investors arise to these opportunities. Others will begin to follow suit, the only thing is you better do your homework on who it is your initially dealing with PRC Ops. On a positive note, China IS investing in the US and most Chinese investors want to be involved within the process, but not all.The capital stays, but there is a cost to and for everything. What I would like to a little bit more growth in innovation and safety measures through an R&D perspective in the USA, particularly in the BA sector. We have the skills/talent!

  10. Gary Moore Says:

    @David Hersman – Until yesterday, the majority owner of Cirrus was Bahrain-based Arcapita and no one seemed to have a problem or accuse it of producing non-American airplanes. Arab Bahrain is certainly as “economically, politically, and spiritually” different from the US as China.

    There are very few products today (especially complex products like aircraft, cars, computers etc) that are not a compilation of a Global Supply chain that reaches around the world.

    Also – China is not atheistic – they just believe in different gods than christians and in fact “Christianity has existed in China since at least the seventh century and has gained influence over the past 200 years” [Austin, Alvyn (2007). China’s Millions].

    I for one look forward to products and services that such a fine company as Cirrus will deliver over the next decade.

  11. Useful Idiots? Says:

    @David Hersman. “We have caught China in many violations such as lead in paint, poison in the milk, etc.”
    “but I will NEVER buy a Chinese airplane until the atheistic government crumbles and a new government is established that respects the rights endowed by our Creator.”
    You better start looking at your own ATHEISTIC ZIONIST occupied government in Amerika first!!! Stop drinking the kool-aid. The Clean Air Act has given us the worst air, they control our food supply for a reason, they tax us and we are going backwards, they load up the water with sodium fluoride, dumb down society, make the woman behave like whores and you are worried about the Chinese? Until we get the Israeli (Bolshevists) controlled politicians out of here we have problems. Now for aerospace: why are ALL the suppliers running to do EVERYTHING in India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Czech Republic, Singapore, Poland and NOT the US?? If you work for one of these Big suppliers, go to the Org Charts of a facility in one of these countries and ask why there is NO “cultural diversity” there while they ram it down your throats here!!! Wake up people, Globalism has whored out the American people! Just say No!!!

  12. Rich Fraser Says:

    Without going much deeper into Mr. Hersman’s rabbit hole, I would strongly suggest that he go back to his 10th grade civics class to relearn just exactly what principles this country was founded upon. Then I would ask him to try Economics 101 to learn just how capitalistic markets work.

    Furthermore, if you wish to take a stand on your consumer decisions based on the philosophies of the government of the nation where it was manufactured in, that’s entirely your prerogative. But the chief reason why our economy has landed where it has lies squarely on the shoulders of us consumers for who the lowest price is the only factor. Unless and until we put our money where our mouths are, and pony up the extra money it would take to buy products manufactured here in the U.S.A., we will be in debt to those entities who will happily give us what we want.

  13. David Braun Says:

    Very disappointed in the American side of this transaction. The Chinese are making moves all over the world to dominate it, the government and companies exploit labor, they are best at counterfeiting, and we support them by moving production, R&D to their universities, and buy far too many imported products from them. We are inconsistent at best when we do the aforementioned yet would not want to live under their conditions. Then this, in an industry where America still leads… very disappointing! I won’t feel badly if Cirrus fails.

  14. Keith Says:

    There are no options here. Wouters hit it on the head, US private and institutional equity is focused on short term ROI and no longer devoting energies or strategies to long term investments. It takes time and lots of capital to design, certify and build aircraft. Cirrus didn’t “sell out” they are surviving. Cirrus and the likes of Liberty (a low level aircraft manufacturer) are both already owned by Mid East investors’ so where is the “sell out” now that China is involved? I work and live in China now having spent 24 years in US aerospace (I am currently not in aerospace industry here) and China has a long road ahead in the general aviation field. The impact of Chinese acquisitions are long term as a result and therefore uncertain. The technology base here is years behind in every respect however there is a danger in that they are acquiring technology. This should drive US and EU companies to continue to innovate and stay technologically advanced in order to maintain their respective competitive edge. This is a conundrum in that innovations and R & D require capital which, as I stated, US investment is no longer focused. Financials need to do their homework and get away from the quick money which sunk our economy before…………………Short term pain for long term gain should be the maxim.

    In the early 80’s Pres. Reagan predicted that the US would go from a manufacturing based economy to a services based economy and we are all aware that this prediction has come true so without direct investment how are companies in the US supposed to survive or remain competitive? It’s all about money flow and economic strategies both of which the US is currently grossly deficient.

  15. john hart Says:

    Cirrus would have been better off dropping the jet project than to align themselves with communists. A better project would have been a small turoprop SR22.

  16. john hart Says:

    Cirrus would have been better off dropping the jet project than aligning themselves with communists. A more profitable new plane would be a turoprop SR22.

  17. Chris in Oregon Says:

    Well, at the end of the day we gave the space race to the Russians, and now the Chinese are the proud owners of the most technologically-advanced civilian piston plane in the history of aviation.

    Good job, America. We might as well sell them the SR-71 and the USS Ronald Reagan because that will help bail out the handful of executives who make bad business decisions and make sure they can still afford their own private fleet.

    As for me, my loyalty lies to America. Not Cirrus, Cessna or the executive class, unions or the Chinese labor market. Clearly, others disagree.

  18. Larry Boyd Says:

    I think that Cirrus made a serious mistake in both R&D and management. The marketing of a single engine jet transport to the enitities that can purchase this level of aircraft is very limited in the US. Corporations and companies will seldom allow their exec’s to travel in single engine aircraft due to corporate exec travel rules. Insurance companies and investors really frown on high level personnel riding in non redundant aircraft. This leaves most of their market outside the US. Mr. Wouters has negotiated the highest level of technology to the Chinese, who will move the major part manufacturing to China. BASIC ECONOMICS.

  19. Bob Kompar Says:

    I ‘m the President and owner of a small manufacturing company in the U.S., we promote the fact that we are built in U.S., locally owned and the products we buy are U.S. made. We are fast becoming the exception than the norm. We need to stop “rationalizing” our decisions to sell our manufacturing companies to foreign countries or all we will have in the U.S. are service sector jobs and people who can’t afford airplanes !.

    I will not be buying a Cirrus.

    Bob Kompar

  20. James Wittenberger Says:

    America’s economic downward spiral can be blamed on many things, but one thing remains certain, we have left the practices and principles of dependance on the God of the Bible and put our own selfish personal interests first over what has made our country great! There is nothing wrong with making a profit, rewarding hard work, having satisfaction of a job well done, or doing business with others, but have we forgotten that the government of China is opposed to our very way of life? Have we forgotten what freedom means and what a difference that has made for us? I don’t know who owns what, but turning manufacturing over to the rest of the world does not make sense to me, and will not restore our economy!

  21. Robert Simon Says:

    Having been active in tech product launches since 1979 I know the difficulty of finding investment capital. At best it is difficult and more likely darn near impossible. Cirrus did not choose from among several suitors: they chose the only one with the cash, foresight, and guts. Sad but true. Wonder if the operating manual will be bilingual now . . .

  22. Thomas Hempstead Says:

    Take a picture…..won’t be American much longer.

  23. Warren Says:

    So many interesting comments and I feel called upon to give one more. United States Citizens, politicians, CEO’s, and many of our leaders are so (fat and happy) that we think someone else should solve the problem. Why else would Congress be so unconcerned about everything from beans to nuts and yet be unable to say; ‘We have to cut back spending, so take it from the old citizens! Yep! I’m one of them!

  24. Skip Gustafson Says:

    When the Fed starts down, don’t bet against it !!! Our States are in default and our Goverment is hard at work trying to destroy the American dollar.
    China was a good choose, lots of Capital, Growth and a need for Aircraft. Let’s hope they don’t give our Bonds back to us, they are worthless, then America would be in Default.

  25. Andy Says:

    I think Cirrus had acquired way too much debt and with the downturn they
    had little choice. If you want to restore America’s dominance in Aviation
    the key is revamping the beauracracy in regulations, litigation, and liability. Itsdebatable the SR20/22 was the most technologically advanced single engine piston airplane of it’s time, but give Cirrus the credit for having the balls to even try to built something new despite the incredible certification hurdles, hence the unwise debt – catch 22. Im not sure any other country is any better, but until we have an environment that can reward innovation, the spam can will rule. The real problem is Americans won’t go for the necessary change because they like their world of allusive government controlled safety more. There is innovation, but too slow to market. The best innovation comes out of the experimental market. Here’s a thought, eliminate the need for an experimental category.

  26. Lee Buechler Says:

    We’re in a global economy, like it or not. And it’s Darwinian, as it should be. Global competition will sharpen US competiveness in the long run, and we’ll all benefit. This deal with Cirrus is nothing more than an efficient deployment of risk capital. Political concerns are not relevant, or helpful, in the analysis – although inevitable. Good for Cirrus finding someone willing to fund them.

  27. Roy Evarts Says:

    We are now a country of limited manufacturing. Cessna, Continental and now Cirrus.
    Frankly I think the damn government should have stepped in and helped us keep these keystone businesses in the USA. We helped (?) GM, and Chrysler didn’t we. Whats wrong with bailout loans to the aviation field? I will never put Chinese parts in my six cylinder Continental Engine. I’ll sell the airplane first!! What happened to “Keep America Strong”.

  28. Ray Thomas Says:

    The thing that bothers me the most is that the Chinese are inveting in U.S. and European companies to gain access to technology. This will accelerate their programs to build airplane (and automobiles, etc) into the rest of the world. That is when this will begin to effect American jobs. And will the Chinese not take their share of the profits from Cirrus back to China to invest elsewhere? But I still do not see this as bad a move for American workers as Cessna BUILDING the 162 in China and importing it.

  29. Kevin Bridges Says:

    The answer to the question: are the U.S. capital markets too short-sighted to invest in aviation companies, or, are aviation companies “selling out” by not trying hard enough to attract U.S. investment is that both are true.

    Long-term planning for U.S. companies and capital investors is six months. Both U.S. companies and U.S. investors want quick returns on any investments regardless of long-term consequences. That is a reflection of our society, which demands instant gratification and always looks for the quick and easy solution rather than what makes sense in the long-term.

    This means that capital investors have no interest whatsoever in funding any manufacturing enterprise because it is expensive to set up and takes a lot of time and effort to become profitable. On the flip side, executives at existing manufacturing companies are looking for quick, easy ways to generate short-term profit to boost their compensation packages. Selling off the company fits the bill nicely if they can find someone to buy. The first one to step in the cash is the winner regardless of the long-term consequences.

    These days, who has the cash? The Chinese, who are all about the long-term and patient enough to realize their goal.

    I submit that accusing companies or capital investors of selling out for the quick buck is only partially correct. They are merely doing what our society as a whole does. Our politicians and ourselves sold out to foreign entities 30 years ago when we decided one-way, lopsided “free trade” was acceptable to ensure we could buy cheap goods and companies could generate large short-term profits. Now we’re suffering the long-term consequences of a shrinking middle class and more people struggling to afford those products because they can’t get job making a decent wage. We have forgotten the lesson Henry Ford taught about creating the means for the masses to have enough money to afford the product so that the product can be mass produced at a price they can afford.

    So, anyone pointing a finger needs to stand in front of a mirror to make sure the finger is pointing at the root cause of the problem.

  30. Tom Norman Says:

    I still believe in fee enterprise as a principle and agree that a business enterprise, foreign or domestic, should be able to make investment choices based on their view of the current economic climate of the business they are in.

    However, this situation is not free enterprise. Our government which, normally does not invest in businesses for long therm profit ,is allowing the Chinese Government to purchase our domestic companies. If our government is not allowed or willing to purchase companies for long term profit it should not allow any other government to do it either.

    Can you just image the reverse? Say Uncle Sam going to China and purchasing one of their aircraft companies? Do you think the Chinese would allow this?

    How stupid can we be?

  31. HansV Says:

    The Chinese are not buying manufacturing they are buying technology, and history has shown technology cannot be held by any entity for a long period of time. The major reason there is not a vibrant private small aircraft financing sector in the US is the policies of the government and the parasitic effects of the tort lawyers and big labor. Once that changes than the capital will flow back to this sector of the economy because the risk will be deminished.

    The Chinese have proven themselves to be more flexible than the Japanese, so there is a good chance that they maybe more successful in owning foreign investments. But either way they will not be able to control the capital or the technology for a sustained period of time. Do any of you drive a foreign made automoblie? Its a world economy and the US government and labot have to realize that the playing field has changed.

  32. Brad Snodgrass Says:

    It is interesting investors in China see value that investors in the US don’t see.

  33. Randy Says:

    Look at chinese drywall. Try to sue a Chinese company. Try to sue an American company. Our legal system and regulations are driving companies over seas. Until we fix those things the movment to a consumption versus productive economy in America will not stop. Particularly since lawyers write the laws.

  34. Dave Flinn Says:

    This discussion could go on and on, to no avail. What Cirrus has done is apparently what they think to be in their best overall long term interests. They are apparently still going to build airplanes here in America, with American workers. In today’s global economy, everything is international to some extent. If the Chinese see fit to invest in Cirrus, hooray for them. Perhaps they are being more prescient than possible US investors. Who knows?

    Anyway, time will tell; and, as I said above, we could discuss this forever, and it won’t change anything.

  35. S P James Says:

    We have been working towards this type of thing for years. Americans are perfectly happy to buy products manufactured by foreign companies and products sourced overseas by American companies. We have been sending money by the billions to China for a long time. We can’t expect them or anyone else to just hold the money. They are going to buy something and that something is American companies and property. This is just the beginning.

  36. John Majane Says:

    In due time the manufacturing of Cirrus will be moved to China. People say that another foriegn company owned part or all of them so why get excited about the Chinese? The reason to get excited is that unlike the company that did own it the Chinese have the capability and the desire to build them. Once again we are going to export jobs so they can import goods that were once made here to us. Free trade makes no sense at all when it is one way. I expect that in the near future Boeing after what the administration has done to them will be outsourcing to China also. It is sad we are killing ourselves to save a few dollars.

  37. Dave Thompson Says:


  38. FRED BASHARA Says:

    cirus is not new tech but an application of exsting tech…..most of the comments are from
    folks who have never been to china. The communist will survive only as long as the
    people find it convienant. china has increased it’s open airspace for general aviation
    mainly for it’s CORPORATE HEADS who want to travel by private jet.
    I provided a roon in my home to a Chinese college student last year. His Major? accounting…his father is a stockbroker and mother teachs business statistics at a university. This young man never rode a bicycle. Chinese are capitolist at heart and aggressive , The tea party is more communist
    than the average Chinese. We just need to keep the jobs in the U.S.

  39. Jim Says:

    As a manufacturer here in the United States I get to see a lot of product coming from China.
    Based on my years of past experience I would not put my family in an aircraft built in China.
    The level of workmanship is not consistant! That goes for any aircraft built in China.
    They may save some money but they couldn’t give me one!

  40. Chet Chetkauskas Says:

    BUY AMERICAN, OWN AMERICAN, SHIP AMERICAN. You wonder why our country has very little manufacturing? Because of GREEDY American executives hell-bent on lining their personal pockets with as much money as they can by farming out the work to the lowest bidder abroad. World economy? Bunk! Its all about greed. The answer is “follow the money trail.”

  41. Jim Says:

    Countries don’t need to conquer us, they can just buy us. We borrow incredible amounts of money from China to help keep the US economy afloat… Cirrus is just another piece of the US owned by a foreign interest.

    If Cirrus had adaquate revenues, they wouldn’t need a bailout. Sell your soul to the devil to ensure a few additional years of survival…

    Others have hit the nail on the head. We want a lot of “stuff”. We want to fill our garage and closets and basements, and yards with “stuff”. And we don’t want to wait, and save in order to buy “stuff”, we want it right away… We can get more “stuff” if it’s cheap. When we go to the store, we buy the $5 imported pipe wrench rather than the $20 one because now we can buy the screwdriver set…. and nail pouch… and get change from our 20. That’s why China has the money to buy … us.

  42. Jack Edelbrock Says:

    Cirrus can do what they want but I would not buy from them now. Let them sell their planes in China

  43. C. Davis Says:

    I’m just totally against a company from China owning Cirrus. We were considering a Cirrus as our next plane but will probably go with Cessna Columbia or a Beechcraft. I know they say they will keep the manufacturing here in the U.S. but that will change sometime in the future; and more jobs will leave and go elsewhere. This has been happening over and over throughout our country. The U.S. government needs to protect U.S. based companies and not allow them to be bought by a foreign investors. The U.S. Treasuries never should have been sold to China either. Look at the mess we are in now. This is just another example that will backfire.

  44. Bob Richards Says:

    It is not Cirrus, the US is not competitive in many ways. What is changing is Global. Our comparative regulation, enovronmental drive, and comments from our president (not to mention our current economic situation) to China’s makes very difficult for many industries to compete for finance, market and jobs. It is a path we have chosen politically, while China is more like the US was in the hay day of the 60’s.

  45. Harry Murtland Says:

    Who does Mr. Wouters think he is kidding? If a foreign entity holds more than 50% of a company, they own the company. Let’s see who’s building Cirrus aircraft a few years down the road. We’ve got to stop selling off America’s future!

  46. DRGeorge Says:

    Why not? They will own everything else in two years.

  47. james hibbert Says:

    it really goes beyond just aircraft acquistion, America is being sold, our political leaders are too weak to
    take a stand. what we are not selling, we are giving away.

  48. S Crader Says:

    George Washington’s favorite saying was – “Facta Non Verba” which is Latin for Deeds not Words. So watch what they do rather than what they say. The salient question is why Cirrus was unable to attract American investors. There’s presently more cash setting on the sideline than ever before. The Cirrus aircraft is a medium tech, low to medium quality aircraft. Cirrus has been able to manipulate the insurance industry so as to create a continual revenue stream back to Cirrus from a rigid and mostly unnecessary training requirement, available only through Cirrus approved instructors. There seems to be a great deal about Cirrus that’s hidden from public view. Most Cirrus owners claim an affinity for their aircraft but cringe when speaking of Cirrus the company. The way Cirrus conducts business is not consistent with American values. Maybe that’s why they’re no longer an American owned entity.

  49. Sam Glasser Says:

    Regarding the sale of cirrus to China, ya! it’s a great idea, as a matter of fact lets sell all our industry to the Chinese and any other country that wants it. Americans have had too much for too long any way. We don’t deserve to have jobs or be able to feed our families. One thing you can be sure of is that the price of these aircraft is not going to be any cheaper now that Cirrus will be made in China. It certainly didn’t help Cessna.
    Now for some real facts. The Federal Reserve, you know that cartel of privately owned BIG banks that hijacked our money system back in early 1900’s, well they stopped publishing the M3 reports in 2005, claiming it wasn’t worth the trouble. Well it was the report that told the world how much of our currency was in circulation. Since 2006 the Federal Reserve Bank presses have been pumping out fiat money as fast as they can, which is like pouring water in the pot of soup. Right now our money is worth as much as the paper on the roll in your bath room….The only thing left is for the American public to have the light go on…Thinking that it is going to get better is utter nonsense. Perhaps we should be selling our planes and buying country acreage and learning how to grow our own food, you won’t be able to eat your Cessna when this all comes down…wake up America…Bad things are coming.

  50. dominique mellow Says:

    Well another company sold to the the communist country of China!! once the Chinese have figured out all the technology, they will just layoff everyone in the US, have the planes built to their substandards levels, (anyone remembers chinese drywall, and all the defective products they ship here and we are dumb enough to buy??) by low paid employees and sell them here at a huge profit; you read about this country comparing Obama to a socialist, all the jobs in this country over the past 10 years and previous administrations are gone to a communist country and no one is saying a thing about; all the US companies who have shut down their operations in the US and moved them to China, will wake up one day when all their investments there are seized and nationalized by the communist party; it happened before it will happen again; I definitely will not buy a Cirrus airplane or ever fly one!!

  51. jim stevens Says:

    Face it. ChiCom manufactured products are garbage. If you want your butt flying around in garbage, buy one. Just like the Cessna Skytrasher.

  52. William Orthwein Says:

    Cirrus has a record of skilled aircraft designers and incompetent management. The design of their aircraft and the stupidity of a merger with China with its transfer of our technology is clear proof.

  53. Doug Martin Says:

    As I won two small business, I understand why the financial institutions in this country are reluctant to invest in aviation. Therefore you have to to where the money is if your going to continue in business.

  54. Steven Fischer Says:

    The selloff of Cirrus to the Chinese is indicative a much larger US problem with manufacturing companies heading to greener pastures overseas. The country in general has become ever more hostile to business enterprise with excessive regulation, taxes, unioinism, health care, the list goes on. Until we wake up and realize what we are doing to the business climate in this country we will continue to decline. Cirrus is just another nail in the coffin.

  55. Brian Says:

    The labor rate in China has doubled in the last two years. Many compaines are looking to move out of China and into Vietnam. Yesterdays Wall Street Journal. Within the next 5 to 10 years labor rates in China will approach the rest of the industrialized world. At that point manufacturing will be shifted again to somewhere else.

  56. Peter Timmins Says:

    I bought my Piper Cherokee with profits I made in China. I buy raw material from the USA, ship it to China, process it and sell it (cheaply) to Walmart who sells it for a big profit…. in America. My FBO, my A&P and Aircraft Spruce all get paid with the money I make in China. If I depended on US manufacturing to fund my aviation activities, I would be grounded. Chinese investment will bring R&D, more competition and best of all will be another step in China developing a HUGE General Aviation market that will create a GA boom unseen in the world since the decades after WW2. The global whiners need to quit crying about the reality of global capital flows. Times have changed. My dad worked in steel mills in Pittsburgh in the 1950’s……. should that be my goal too?

  57. Jonathan Gunn Says:

    It is very alarming to see a constant stream of US companies sold to foreign entities. This process is destroying our countries ability to remain the manufacturing powerhouse that made the US what it has always been in the world economy, a leader in innovative design. The US is slowly being guided by foreign money and the sale of Cirrus was completed to make a few people rich, nothing more or less. If you think for one moment after time goes by that the new Chinese owner won’t relocate most if not all of the manufacturing to China so they can increase there profit margin from far cheaper labour, then the US will have no one to blame but itself. The US needs to wake up before it’s to late.

  58. Jon C. Shawl Says:

    Maybe the Chicoms can solve the P Static problems!

  59. Allan Roberts Says:

    One issue that has not been addressed is the cost of litigatoion in this country. Bell Helmet moved to Spain (I have been told) to get out of a hostile frivolous lawsuit environment. Isn’t that why Piper also is French-owned and leases back all of its production assets? There is nothing left to attach in a lawsuit. In my opinion, this is one of the biggest reasons for the slow recovery here in America. Over-regulation, especially by the EPA, is second.

  60. Bill Lawson Says:

    I am an american manufacturer and we can compete with anyone in the world if we insist on a level playing field for things like workers comp, health care, social security. My experience is that you can get good products from china but it takes a lot of effort. their natural morality is to do anythin g to make a profit. if you set up your own company and put in the correct controls you wil get a good reliable product. companies like Motorola, 3M etc have done it right. if you just find someone and order it you will get junk eventually.

    Personally I will not buy anything built overseas if there is a good US built product but in many areas all the good products are built overseas.

    the Cirrus is a good airplane but I will not buy one primarily because you can buy a used Bonanza or ? and fit it out with all the latest avionics, new engine etc for 1/2 the price of a new cirrus the same is true of a new 182, until the new airplanes truly offer a measurable advantage Cirrus airplanes will only be purchased by people who will pay anything for something new without regard to cost/performance measures.

    I think Cirrus did what it had to to survive and while I don’t like our manufacturing going overseas, The survived to keep a few jobs in the US for awhile at least.

  61. Andreas Says:

    This is a free market at work. I am sure American companies could have bought Cirrus for the same $100M as the Chinese, but they passed this opportunity up. It is a real tragedy to see technology and knowledge being transferred out of the country, but there is no quick buck to be made and the investment is long term – very unappealing to the american investors.

    The CEO did what he had to do to keep the doors open and people employed for a another few years.

  62. Dennis Says:

    All china is doing is buying our technology, so that they can put us out of bussines globally. If anyone thinks that China thinks about anything else but China, then I have the number for a Doc they should call.

  63. RalphRogers Says:

    I will not buy a Cirrus now. I always liked them and wanted one but now I do not.

  64. John Valentine Says:

    This sale – as much as I dislike Federal intervention – should be blocked for any and all reasons which may apply, as a comprehensive plan to QUIT SELLING TECHNOLOGY or American assets to the one remaining totalitarian (Oh, just say it: last remaining Communist dictatorship. . .) whose publicly stated purpose is to kick the United States out of the Pacific and defeat us piecemeal by means military or economic. These people do not love us.
    Therefore, any shellacking Cirrus can be handed – isn’t nearly a tenth of what they deserve. Shame. Shame on you, Cirrus(and I have no intention of naming you individually and giving you more face time in the public media). Here’s hoping you disappear from view completely, and all the monies and wealth you gain become slippery and fall from your grasp. And, yes, that does mean that we think you have a public obligation under personal ethics to give consideration to the national consequences of selling your private property, in this industry.
    What would have been the consequences, in 1942, if Douglas, Boeing, North American, even Stearman, had been sold by greedy speculators, to the Nazis, in 1937?
    Shame, and bad cess to you, Cirrus.

  65. bill anders Says:

    Sirrus is simply doing what will become an increasing trend so long as the US economy is in such stress. China has the money & technical/manufacturing needs while America has the debt. Go figure!

  66. Tom Rains Says:

    “Legal Doesn’t Always Mean Right”
    1 Corinthians 10:23a
    Philippians 2:4
    Romans 14:13b
    If you’re an American businessman, and you’re not familiar with the business wisdom found in the above references, if you don’t have the “Manual,” at your finger tips that spells them out, if you haven’t referred to that “Manual” today, already,
    for help in making business or life decisions…..then you, as Cirrus management, are PART OF THE PROBLEM.

  67. Bill Tiedeman Says:

    The selling of American continues. Look around! New York City spends100s of millions on taxi fleet (foreign car), unresponsible politicians give foreign aid to even our enemys, politicians attach pork belly laws to much needed laws, current import tax laws should increase as other countries to allow our products a fair chance to compete, current tort laws drive up price of goods because too many lawyers are in DC ready to line their own pockets.

    Soon we will only exist as a service company. Buy American, get real representation in DC.
    The economy will fix its self. Americans will find jobs and pride will in our country will return.

  68. Frank Nesson Says:

    Look at all the country-of-origin labels in all the products in your home. Almost every one has been made outside the United States. Now take a look at the unemployment figures. We have the best trained workforce working the finest technology. To produce this airplane outside this country is more than short-sighted – it’s almost myopic. We will bring our country out of the recession when we hire Americans to make and sell produts here in the USA.

  69. Patrick Merkle Says:

    The reality is that China will not open its markets to GA without liberalizing its own airspace. With Chinese companies clamoring for open skies in China, the potential for tremendous growth in worldwide GA is tapped. I’m for it. This is not about strategic arms, this is about making GA consumer friendly, and the Chinese are pretty good at that on the ground. Let’s see how they take to it in the air!

  70. Bill Tiedeman Says:

    The selling of American continues. Look around! New York City spends100s of millions on taxi fleet (foreign car), unresponsible politicians give foreign aid to even our enemys, politicians attach pork belly laws to much needed laws, current import tax laws should increase as other countries to allow our products a fair chance to compete, current tort laws drive up price of goods because too many lawyers are in DC ready to line their own pockets.

    Soon we will only exist as a service company. Buy American, get real representation in DC.
    The economy will fix its self. Americans will find jobs and pride in our country will return.

  71. Bill Says:

    I concur with David Braun.

    Set aside for a moment the Chinese totalitarian government that stifles every freedom we hold dear, that they invaded a sovereign country, Tibet, which they occupy today….I could go on. But back to Braun’s points, the Chinese sell us poisoned pet food (intentionally to make it test for more protein), poisoned toys for our children. They have no respect for intellectual property (at least ours). An IT Director I knew at a semiconductor design/mfgr told me his biggest problem working with the Chinese was trying to keep them from stealing his companies’ design secrets. Boeing has expressed concerns that the Chinese are stealing their design secrets and using them to build a 737 competitive product, Microsoft says the Chinese are the biggest source of counterfeit Microsoft software. With this track record it’s amazing to me that we even do business with them let alone made them a favored trading partner. Cirrus and Cessna are both misguided, taking the easy way out in order to improve their quarterly profits. I wouldn’t buy an aircraft made or owned by a Chinese company no matter how low the price. I only wish other owner pilots felt the same way. At least we, in aviation, still have a purchasing choice unlike so many every day products we purchase that are 100% made in China.

  72. Doug Townsend Says:

    I think it was a mistake. Right or wrong, most of the pilots in the US learned to fly in their Piper and Cessna. In the last 10 years, its more likely in their Cirrus or their Diamond. Cirrus can spin it however they want, but they are not an American company anymore. I picked up a brand new SR20 from the factory in August 2008 and love it. The chances that I’ll buy and pick up a brand new SR22 under the Chinese ownership is very slim. I’m a c-level business executive and understand the economics of the need and the opportunity. But it kills their customer loyalty. Harley owners tatto the company logo on their body! THAT is customer loyalty. And its largely because Harley is a American success story. We sell national pride way too short. It matters. Cirrus should forget the jet develpment and focus on building and selling planes that people can afford (and have the skills) to fly. That would eliminate the need for the Chinese investment.

  73. Diane Ballweg Says:

    We (the entire world) must think more globally. China is aggressively and proactively building their aviation system and they have government and economic support. The U.S. should take note of their effort. Building a strong aviation infrastructure on all levels can only help all aspects of trade, tourism, economics, business, and research. So why do we continue to enforce more methods to hold back progress in all of these areas? I love to claim Cirrus as a “local” business, but I understand why they would look to other markets.

  74. Frank Gonzalez Says:

    For me, a soon to be buyer, I was leaning heavily towards an SR22. Now I’m really second guessing it. I have bought American made (owned) for many years. Now I hold them like I hold GM and Chrysler. I’m now leaning to Cessna. My two cents.

  75. Rich Belzer Says:

    My partners and I, all experienced aviation executives, spent three years trying to raise capital for a new airplane company. I can confirm what Brent Wouters had to say about U.S. investment for general aviation – it is non-existent. Piper was a U.S.-owned company when its latest investor, the government of Brunei (through its investment arm, Imprimis), acquired it from American Capital Strategies; Cirrus was already majority owned by the Bank of Bahrain before it was acquired by a Chinese-Government-owned corporation, CAIGA. As Mr. Wouters stated, U.S. investors are not interested in a highly-regulated industry where product cycles are three-years plus and capital intensive. The Chinese take a significantly longer-term view. Although I dispute the fact that Cirrus is “U.S. company”, I expect it to continue to employ significant numbers in this country.

  76. richard Says:

    This is deeper then the Chinese buying a company
    Remember that as the federal reserve is printing mony the US doller is being devalued
    When Henry Kissenger got them to purchace our debt they were looking for long term profit
    Now as the doller is being devalued they are trying to divest themselves of the Note. The easy way would for them to purchase foreign assets. If they dumped the doller on the markets then it would crash and they would loose what value they have.

    The people have to remember that the Federal Reserve does not work for the people. they were set up to pull wealth from the US people.That is why they set up the IRS. After Globelization they now work for the World Bank. Remember the crash of 2008.
    Who recieved the so called bailouts. Did any of this rise in gas prices help the people
    It didnt even get to the K401. It was rerouted.The people then lost thir homes as they couldn’t keep up, since their income couln’t keep up with the cost of living
    The second part is that There are people who go out and dismantle companies
    to make a profit. I have just read that they are going after a well known and respected
    parent company.

    This is not Republican vs Democrat. as it been going on for over 30 years

    Think of what happened to Argentina and their Hyper inflation, and what happened to Britton a once great World Power

  77. Manfred Brecker Says:

    I don’t think it matters much who owns the company . Cirrus is a good airplane manufacturer and the product are good . It is more important that the company exsists than if the company went out of business due to lack of capital . American jobs were on the line just like the automobile business which was taken over by Italy due to the lack of a American Investor . Our present Obama administration is so anti-business that American investors are very reluctant to invest in any compay in America . Until we get a new President that has an understanding of what the business community is all about we will see forgein investors buying America thank god . Obama must be defeated and we will slowly recover our old ways which were good and made this country the greatest .

  78. Rick Says:

    This is a bad thing. Just think how difficult it’s going to be reading the instruments in chinese!

  79. john hart Says:

    Chet Chetkauskas is mistaken. Manufacturing has gone overseas not because of corporate “greed” but because of high taxes, over-regulation and union extortion.

  80. Fred Buenger Says:

    Cirrus likely exhausted local finance options. Until this country achieves a reasonable global economic playing field will not only continue but accelerate.
    It’s increasingly more difficult to absorb the draconian entitlements, union demands and environmental mandates.

  81. WxBY - ORL/MCO Says:

    A U.S. auto worker gets $28 hr. to snug-down a small bolt under/behind the dash of an auto? Bull shit! Pure American greed!

    UPS drivers threaten a walk-out strike unless they get raises to bring their minimum pay to $28 hr.? You’re joking, right? We will NEVER ship ANYTHING by UPS again.

    As long as greed is on-the-rise in the U.S. . . . . . . . . . . . As long as the cost-of-living keeps going up and my pay stays the same while my employer continues to cut ‘fringe-benefits’ . . . . . . . . .

    I will continue to purchase whatever product provides the best return on my meager dollar! No matter the country of origin. U.S. North Americans are screwing the hell out of themselves and they deserve it! Their greed will do them in, and justly so . . . . . . . .

    Were we still in the business, we too would go for the most economical, efficient way to produce our engines & airframes. Period. Not a compromise.

    Chinese quality? Constantly improving. Take a look at the tools & supplies sold by The Harbor Freight Tool Co.

    Take a look at the constant improvement in quality of the Korean Kia & Hyundai autos. Yeah, I’d rather have bought a GMC car a couple of months ago, but we got two [2! count ’em!] Hyundais for the price of one GMC product . . . . . . . . . .

    CEOs of American companies getting annual pay 100X the average of their employees? Bull shit. NO one is worth that kind of money and we will NOT contribute to such activities.

    Our local Publix food markets are owned by the employees. Publix prices are competitive, or slightly higher, than those at Target, K-Mart & WalMart. But we will go out of our way to buy at Publix!

  82. Jim May Says:

    Cirrus is now a CHICOM enterprise. Too bad. A gain for Chinese Communists; a loss for America. I have no interest in advancing CHICOM interests by buying a CHICOM airplane.

  83. Sen. Darden C. Hamilton Says:

    I have been working to find investors for two different aviation projects in the last two years. Both were platinum plated opportunities that would have provided American jobs (up to 1200) and both were giving away huge dividends to early investors for projects that were already proven to be technically viable and extremely profitable. One was previously certified and the other had flying prototypes that demonstrated the feasibility of the higheest risk concepts.

    Both failed to find a single new investor.

    American investors want inordinate obscene returns PLUS they want full control of the company they have raped, leaving the creators of the ideas empty handed. Chinese investors are more pragmatic in their approach and expect reaonable returns and will accept reasonable terms for participation.

    As long as American investors are not interested, American aviation companies will continue to be owned by foreign nationals and the taxes paid by the companies will go offshore instead of servicing the debt in America.

    If I were hired to find investors for a startup aviation company, the first place I would stop is the Chinese consulate. When our government pays off the mountain of debt we owe the Chinese they will be awash in Trillions of taxpayer dollars.

    American investors are no longer worth the effort to chase. The ones that have money are afraid to invest it since the banks here won’t loan them money if they get into a bind.

  84. Jon Says:

    American technology, patents, and knowledge went with the sale. A lot of that came from NASA and manifest itself in the design of the SR22 and the Columbia/Cessna 350/400. It frustrates me that everything has a price tag, and China’s got our money!

    Mark my words; the Cirrus will eventually be made in China, and all the profits from this American company going global will add to the steady river of money pouring into China.

    I cannot blame the company from selling to the highest bidder, but I wish our meddling government would have actually stepped in this time.

  85. Tim Heyboer Says:

    While not illegal in any way, Wouters rationalizes the sale to the Chinese as “what else could I do”, which shows a lack of leadership and moral principle. Why? The Chinese strategy will be to subsidize Cirrus, selling Cirrus aircraft cheaper than Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, or Mooney can possibly afford to do. We Americans only care about our pocketbooks, so many will buy Cirrus, just as they shop at Walmart. I predict Cessna, Piper, Beechcraft, and Mooney will be out of business and extinct in less than10 years. Then the Chinese will raise the price, and we will all wring our hands in anguish. I witnessed this happen in a previous company I worked for, where our short sighted CEO gave our technology to the Chinese in exchange for the promise of volumes of business (which we never realized – our CEO was naive). That company folded in 2003. I will not buy a Cirrus, just as I do not shop at Walmart. American corporate leaders need to grow a set of balls, face some tough decisions, and stop lining their pockets while selling out to the Chinese. And the American consumer needs to ditch the “Walmart mentality” and buy products from American companies whenever possible – the next job lost could be yours.

  86. Joseph Okon Says:

    The fact has been documented that Cirrus lost it’s way. Then fell straight into the hands of it’s initial group of foriegn investors. We watched its American ownership evolve some time ago. Yet in still, with the economic down turn reducing the US job market this latest acquistion has become the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. What does the job market stand to lose? How many industry jobs will be written off locally for Cirrus to make a profit. Will the Chinese’s policy: all GA VFR flights are required to register a flight plans requested, several days in advance.Will this result in Cirrus making planes there and sending them back to the USA with big marketing as their targeted primary consumer… .Since the Chinese controled airspace issue will certainly reduce and deter the free movement of general aviation…. I am hoping that the Chinese buy what they build, and the price gets cheaper to all consumers.. Wishful thinking…

  87. Jose bravo Says:

    USA is a hosilte country for most private business. It has gone Socialist with it’s unions, high personal and corporate taxes (under the guise of wealth redistribution and infrastructure, programs and scams etc)

    Look how the USA got to where it is now and look back 100yrs and look what an amazing nation it was with a fraction of the government today…

    Read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and you get all your answers…

  88. Paul Cohagan Says:

    It completly wrong, in every sense of the word! Deciding wether it was the right thing to do or not, leads you to think it has a fair balance to the decision? Any time we sell America to any country, we have to look at ourselves? Just how important is the money? American Aviation should allways operate from within. It our destiny, and future to keep aviation home at any cost! Send the leftovers outside, or let them come here to learn and buy our technology, on our terms! But keep the brand American for America! Ole Ross Perot got it right about the “Great Sucking Sound”.

  89. James D Venetti Says:

    Trade is good and the Cirrus sale is good for America and Americans as it saved jobs and will create jobs and trade . Some respondents apparently want the alternative, which is Bankruptcy.

    If we wish to keep our manufacturing jobs in the US we need to become more competitive. US aerospace workers are paid nearly 100$/ hr while Chinese counterparts are paid $5/ hr. China is mostly a cash economy with everyone having considerable savings while America is mostly a credit economy with everyone in debt. Politicians are desperately accelerating the nation’s debt while telling everyone they are spending our way out of poverty when they have it backwards. Until we stop such sales will continue.

  90. James D Venetti Says:

    I vote for the sale based upon the alternative.

  91. Doug Shortt Says:

    Yes; foreign investment by countries that would like to see us disappear can only be counter productive.

  92. Chris K Says:

    I agree with most of the comments here. Maybe we should pass the hat around among the pilot population when starting a new aviation company – one owned and controlled by the end users. There would be no guarantee of a return, but quite possibly a chance we can continue our shared vision to maintain a strong GA sector in America.

  93. Kam Mohajer Says:

    The 10,000 feet view gives us a different perspective. We need to learn from pros, and the cons of the EU unification and the Euro. We need to invest in “Americas.” We first need to eliminate the border between US and Canada. Once we have fine-tuned the “unification” of the US and Canada, we then should do the same with Mexico, and eventually all the way to South America. Why? Mexico offeres inexpensive labor, proximity, rather than funding China and India’s growth to surpass us economically down the road, we need to invest in “Americas.” The benefit of investment in “Americas” will give us unlimited acces to low labor cost, low transportation cost, and will make “Americas” more wealthy. This will further insure That the US, and the “Americas” will be / become the largest geographical economy (GDP). Today, the US DOES NOT benefit from a US Company selling the US technologies, and the US companies to China and India. By doing so, we are selling our brain power and “know how.” I am speaking from experience. I started a manufacturing company in Houston, Texas 28 years ago, and have since become a global powerhouse. We hold many patents, and trade secrets. We are very careful when we do business with China and India. Until we recognize the fundamental problems with US funding our largest two future enemies, our technologies and companies will be snatched legally or illegally by China and India.

    Although the taxes in the US, and the interest rates are at the all time low, there is not such a resource as “R&D money.” Yes, there are a lot of grants, SBIR, and others. Private investors are not interested in aviation R&D, because the US Federal Government is not very friendly with the private aviation. Another very important point is that death tax destroys continuity in growing a business in the US, which accounts for ~75% of the US GDP. Most private businesses will sell after 25 years. This itself will destroy the “know how,” reduce R&D expenditure, increase unemployment, reduce taxable income for the US Government, because larger corporations have the resources to take advantage of the tax loopholes. Until we fix these problems, the American Technologies and companies will find more willing buyers from China and India.

    In short, we need to re-align America to remain the best country in the World, politically, economically, and environmentally, and looking at “policy” with 10, 20, 30, and 50 year vision.

  94. William R Says:

    It was wrong! Let us not forget the profits go to the owner, so Mr. Chairman what percent of the profits do the Chinese guarantee to stay here in the U.S.? If the company were U.S. owned we have the jobs and the profits. Furthermore, China will do whatever is best for themselves without regard to any deal/contract or our complaints. What is the board (of Directors) going to do when China decides to pull all production back to China; nothing! Their cries will fall on deaf ears! I believe that those who put their stamp of approval on this deal are whistling pass the grave yard as fast as they can in hopes they can receive their payday and get out before the situation blows up in their faces!


    Dealing with countries around the world on a daily basis, the US economy and political climate with unsure taxes, regulations, and controls over business make US companies viable to foreign investment that will pull the profit and /or move the business to a more friendly environment. Honda, Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes have made their US subsidiaries profitable but also a market for their foreign manufactured products. The profits go offshore. I expect not only the profits to go offshore but also all production of Cirrus and Piper to be gone from this country within 10 years. I can list 25 ex-customers who are now offshore with many more to follow.

  96. Gary Says:

    Sure sure and Santa is real too…What a crock of crap…Money is all that was the motivating force here…In a few years (if that long) all the local workers will be without jobs…

    Airbus, sells aircraft to the Chinese..first thing they ask for is some maintenace equipment and facilies from the french. they of course agree to it, jsut for the simple reason that they can beat out Boeing out of a deal..The Chines will copy the airbus within 5 years and flood the market with them..makr my words \… Greed greed

  97. Stuart Says:

    I wonder if China still has any of those lend lease P40’s left over. I cant even afford to buy or rent a Cessna 162 fly swatter. Of course nowdays flight schools do a booming buisness training all those Chinese pilots over here. You ought to hear them on the radio, (have patience ATC) I sure hope they dont wind up flying against us in the next war like they did in korea after we trained then to fight the Japs. Boys if you get straffed in a Pearl harbor style sneak attack it just may be a Cirrus with a red star on the the side.

  98. J Savage Says:

    Continental Engines did the same thing, folks.

    My short answer? As a result of this merger, what it stands for and the unpatriotic ethics involved, I will not fly in, own, rent or park my own airplane next to a Cirrus aircraft. I will capitalize on any chance I get to discourage others from using a Cirrus or Continental product. They are gone to me. I will disparage them with my every breath.

    Stand up for America, folks!

  99. Lance Hool Says:

    As an owner of two Cirrus and an ex position holder for the V Jet, I am extremely disappointed in the sale of Cirrus to Chinese owners. Marx said it correctly: “The last capitalist will be the one that sells the last product to a communist.”

  100. Russ Cowperthwaite Says:

    I purchased a Cirrus in Feb. thinking I was buying American, I would not have bought this plane had I known they were selling to the Chinese. The future can be told by the past, the Chinese have been great at making knock off’s of other companies products. The people that think the jobs are going to stay here are kidding themselves, there is no OSHA, EPA, Union, Workers comp. in China, it only makes sense to move the production to China. We are becoming a service Industry Country, we will soon have the very rich and the very poor, the poor will service the products made in other countries for the rich that have out sourced or sold out to other countries. Unles we get our Government to back off on the rediculous amount of regulations we deal with we are headed for a very bleak future.

  101. Derek Post Says:

    I was very disappointed that the Cirrus sale went to China, when there was an American investment group that was interested, but (from what I read) wasn’t given the chance to put a bid together.

  102. Wayne Keenan Says:

    I believe that it was totally wrong for Cirrus to sell out to China. Cirrus was started out as an AMERICAN company & It should stay as an AMERICAN held company. I would not buy any Cirrus aircraft now or any aircraft powered by Teledyne Continental engines.

  103. Wayne Keenan Says:

    I would like to continue my above opinion. In the following excerpt of AOPA, the US Air Force Academy intends to buy 6.1 million dollars of Cirrus SR20 (T-53A) aircraft. I am a retired submariner & believe that this is very much UNAMERICAN. We have AMERICAN companies that need & meet the requirements necessary for air force trainer planes.

  104. Manuel Rodriguez Says:

    It is so terribly wrong and, in my opinion, anti- American for ANY ‘American’ company to be doing ANY business regarding manufacturing with a foreign nation that is still standing against American ideals and principals. To do so has involved not only the giving away of American jobs, it has given away our (what used to be, at least) superior technology to our enemies. How any company that calls itself American can be guilty of such treasonous behavior is beyond me. This (monkey) business is going to return to haunt this country one day,mark my word! From an American, there was a time when this country was looked up to. Aviation cos. looked up to us, and our standards were second to none. We were the best. Best pilots,best aircraft,best mfg. plants in the world. Now our jobs are gone resulting in a weakened nation that very soon won’t be able to be independent and free. I used to build TPE331 engines for sale to Mitsubishi. We said back then they were to retrofit their Zeros for another raid!!! Every co. guilty of this(Cessna incl.) should pay double the old import tariffs for every scrap that reenters the USA from elsewhere, with NO costs passed on to the consumer! If overseas jobs are so cheap, kick the cos. out that support this venture. It is no wonder jobs are a prevalent Problem nowadays. America-Love us or leave us. You can’t lie in bed with the Devil and win!!!! (And where is all that pretty glass for our cockpit panels REALLY made, China, Mexico, Czechoslovakia, or another of our wonderful Communist ‘friends’?

  105. Erik Fulkerson Says:

    I recall when Cirrus was first looking for its major round of financing and reading about the lack of any U.S. investors and it reluctantly had to go with the Bahrain deal.

    And it is interesting to note, that even after an American underdog success story that Cirrus became, it was yet again not possible to get U.S. investors even though they tried, and the China deal prevailed. (Although I also note the exigent possibility that the China deal was predetermined outside of Cirrus’ executive choices.)

    American has not invested in itself for decades now. Wall street continues to disappoint and fails Main street to the severe harm of America.

    Jeffry Imelt, CEO of GE, the worlds largest corporation, as for years campaigned about the importance and necessity to bring manufacturing back to America. I have also believed this to be the case for the past twenty plus years after becoming aware of the harm being done for the future and indeed it has been a major factor in America’s economic woes for many years.

    I also recognize that finding investment dollars in America should never be as difficult as it is, and foreign investment is often the only choices left to U.S. entrepreneurs.

    A whitepaper I have written advocates strongly the requirement to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. as a cornerstone of our economy.

    Inida, China, and other countries in that region, started heavily supporting their own domestic entrepreneurs making it easy to secure investment dollars for start-ups of all ilks in all sectors and now today, China is poised to become the worlds economic leader. Many say it is already too late to stop it.

    India no longer exports talent to the U.S. and the reverse is now happening. Silicon Valley has empty office complexes from this shift back to India.

    I believe this has really occurred primarily because of the long term failure of Wall street and U.S. Investment community and banks to invest in America’s entrepreneurs, especially where there are new manufacturers. They have abandon it for the most part choosing instead complex “derivative” products, is where I see the crux of the problem.

  106. Erik Fulkerson Says:

    Please forgive the typos in my earlier post;-)

  107. Bill Rickard Says:

    There are a number of rational economic responses showing that from the macroeconomic point of view nationality of ownership doesn’t matter and from a microeconomic point of view, the company had no choice. There are flaws in that logic, but I will instead take issue with Mr. Wouters assertion that while US investors take the short view, he has taken the long view. In comparison to the Chinese, he has taken the short view. They may not move Cirrus design and manufacture next month or next year, but they will eventually export the profits and the jobs and the intellectual property. Perhaps he can convince Daniel Webster to be his advocate when that day arrives.

  108. L.S. Bisbee Says:

    Since we live in a globalized economy, these kinds of cross-ownership arrangements will arise. I only wish the traffic went both ways. Can the US not buy pieces of successful overseas enterprises? Why do we only hear about the US selling off chunks of our pie?

  109. Patrick B. Says:

    Complete sellout, just like Cessna building the Skycatcher in China. 9%+ unemployment and a struggling economy isn’t helped by migrating US work overseas. The grandparents of today’s business and government “leaders” would be disappointed in their behavior.

  110. Bob Jones Says:

    Sold out for the almighty dollar, no thought to Made in America now it will be just another pile of junk Made in China. I sure it will be of higjh quality though like the baby milk and other items found to contain poisons. Now if something is wrong with the airplane do you sue China?

  111. Melvyn Polatchek Says:

    There is nothing in the behavior of the Chinese government to indicate that they have good intentions toward the Western world. They do business with us because the business is there and they are as smart to lend us money as we are stupid to borrow from them. Until their government changes its ways, I find it unpatriotic to do business with them. And while it is easy to get their capital, it is not true that an American company cannot grow without it.

  112. Karl W Fox Says:

    This is not good and it will not end good , you think you now the Chinese, You don’t , The CEO is just another worker for the Chinese, He is not to smart, If he put the jet together its not for us its for the Chinese. If thay move the company back to China will the CEO go to ? That would be nice. Thanks for all the hard work we love flying a Chinese Planes.

    How would you like to pick up the phone and have a chinese manger tell you what he would like you to do today and be fast at it or he will fire you.. and have them come in to town take over your office and not tell you any thing becase you are just a worker and not that smart thay own the company CEO you will see !!! …. KW.

  113. No Problem Says:

    If you believe in a free market then there is no problem whatsoever here. And of course, in a free market, consumers are allowed to choose. I chose all American and bought a Maule. No problem whatsoever.

  114. Travis Says:

    If I were considering a new aircraft, I would not choose a Cirrus because of the foreign investment. I also feel the same way about the LSA that Cessna is importing. There are too many good affordable choices in the market why support our economic rival China especially.

  115. Alan Says:

    The most unfortunate aspect is aviation like most industries is controlled by financing rather than morality and common sense. Perhaps that is why I stand on the sidelines anymore and shake my head in frustration.

    As a pilot for the past 40 years, I have been grounded the past decade by the cost of flying. What ever happened to what I started when this country was also going to the moon??????

  116. Steven R. Hulland Says:

    Cirrus management and stock holders do not understand their duty to protect our wonderful country and the freedoms we enjoy. The more we allow foreign countries to own and/or control companies in the United States and the more companies send jobs packing in their false search for the almighty dollar, the more we will lose our freedom. After all our constitution says it all at its very beginning.

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    This simply states that we the people are the only ones who can protect our way of life and our freedoms – not governments; not police or anyone else. When we abrogate the responsibility to protect our country through any deed or action, we can only blame ourselves if our freedom is lost. Giving foreign entities/people the control of companies, economic power to control our lives in any way is nothing short of being a traitor. That is because we the people are the only ones who can protect our way of life and are the only ones responsible for doing so.

    Brent Wouters decries the short-sighted nature of the U.S. investment community and explains why the company began talks with CAIGA, a Chinese firm that ultimately bought Cirrus in a deal that closed June 24.

    No matter what Brent Wouters decries concerning the short-sighted nature of the U.S. Investment Community he and all others like him cannot escape the fact that they are abrogating their responsibility to carry out their responsibility to protect the people of this wonderful country. They are fools!!

  117. Lee D. Anders Says:

    Any successful business is going to remain competitive by playing the risks against the benefits of doing business. The goal is always to maximize profits with the lowest costs possible over the shortest time frame. .

    Economies in other countries are a high risk to one degree or another because their markets are not free with governments that are authoritarian, socialistic or communistic. Our free market economy has a strong rule of law that favors ownership over restrictive government policies…or at least it used to.

    Many of the benefits of doing business is the U.S. have been muted by high corporate taxes, environmental regulations, restrictive investment policies, unrealistic union demands and a socialist-like health care system. This makes the risk of doing business high since costs are unpredictable over the time frame of the years ahead.

    Now there are authoritarian, socialistic and communistic governments willing to bend some of their controls. They are still risky, but they need to keep their populations busy. Other methods to date have failed them and they are willing to try capitalism. They promise low taxes, little or no environmental regulations, plenty of investment capital, and a very low-cost labor force.

    High profits, low costs, short time frame make the risks reasonable. It has nothing to do with loyalty or patriotism, unless, of course, it promotes good business

  118. Paul Curs Says:

    The history of products from and related to China have not been good. In some cases terrible, so the results can vary. In the market for an airplane … I shyed away from Cirrus when I heard of the then-pending deal. I wish Cirrus well, however.

  119. Bill Lawson Says:

    In our present system we are the problem as we do what our economic system rewards. I do not ask my stockbroker what company will give me the best return in five years. at most my investing time horizon is one year as holding it longer gives no more reward. as a result all CEO’s of public companies are rewarded for this year’s profits not what is the success in the future.

    I have long been a proponent of any money earned on the stock market or in any investment is taxed at standard income rate. but if any investment is held 5 years or more there is no tax or a very small tax. this would force investors in large corporations to ask “what are you doing to make sure my investment is good in five years?” this will force the CEO’s to do what they are rewarded for and need to balance the return this year vs what they will have in five years. then the CEO’s would not do things that will get them short term rewards but are deadly in the long run. things like lay off R&D, eliminate marketing, basic research, move production to the cheapest place in the world, etc.

    The system is different in Europe and Japan. China also in its present government is focused on how will they stay in power and build the country in the future. they have realized they need to do what Germany has done and keep developing more manufacturing and bringing technology into into the country. They think long term not short term. so buying US companies makes economic sense to China while no investor in his right mind in the US would buy Cirrus as it will take a long time to get their money back and even then will probably have a low rate of return.

    As Chairman Mao said, “the capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him with”

  120. John Aken Says:

    As a former employee at Cirrus when the company first produced the SR20, Cirrus has lost more than its direction. It has lost the company’s founding Klapmeyer brothers and many of the original workers having the dream of creating the world’s best and safest GA aircraft. Cirrus was taken over by a bunch of corporate lawyers whose primary goal was to make money not airplanes. These people pushed Cirrus away from the SR 20 and SR 22 into the world of light jet long before Cirrus was financially ready. This forced the sale of the company to a middle east conglomerate and now a chinese conglomerate for the sole purpose of attracting large sums of money for the jet projects. What Mr Brett. Wouters does not tell is that thousands of private investors, many of whom were employees, lost vast sums of money and now holding worthless stock. early employees like myself given stock options instead of increased pay when the company could not afford to pay us. We took this gladly because we believed in the dream aircraft the aircraft Cirrus was producing. Mr. Wouters and the corporate crowd have pulled the financial rug out of thousands of investors of the Cirrus corporation. They are not much better than Enron. If anyone believes that jobs will not be lost they are complete fools. The company is no longer American… it belongs to the Chinese. I wonder what Mr. Wouters’s Golden Parachute is, I will bet he will not loose a cent in this sellout of an American success story.

  121. Sam Brunetto Says:

    The Government of this country is destroying businesses and creates an atmosphere for companies to seek foreign investors to survive!
    The joke is on us! You cannot impose heavy taxes and rules and regulations that foreign countries don’t do. The problem is here. Cirrus is not creating jobs and prosperity here—the company has to survive. What a shame these politicians are destroying our wonderful America.!!! If Cirrus is being built in China, then pass the cheap labor off to the flight schools here who could hire more personel.

  122. Jim Says:

    How many of those posting comments along the lines of “Cirrus just sold out for the money” have ever bought an item at WalMart or Home Depot because it was a couple bucks cheaper than the one at the local independent store? How many look for the lowest price when buying fuel, whether for car or airplane?
    Folks who complain about US being in debt are the same ones who run up credit card bills; we are a debt-run nation. Somebody will hold that paper, and it seems right now it is China. So, until the majority of consumers in this country save up to buy a major item (instead of using MasterCard), and help their children do the homework so they can earn a grade and learn something (rather than complain about the school), and purchase based on quality as well as price (instead of looking for a deeper discount). . . . well, we had better get used to being farther from the top.
    The new jobs are not assembly lines or steel mill grunts; they are skilled positions that need people with decent education and some smart ideas. Bitching about lost manufacturing jobs will not bring them back, as long as Pedro or Kim will do it for $1 and Jack or Betty demand $15. But there are plenty of openings for any kind of name if they can write computer code, or do laboratory procedures, program a robot, or use a spreadsheet cleverly. Too bad there is no funding for our schools to train that stuff, eh?

    Cirrus came up with a newer version of a product, and sold it well until the bank catastrophe ruined the economy (selling mortgages that couldn’t be repaid – who thought that was smart?). Now they need funding and can’t get it here. So until you have the bucks to bail them out, let them run their business. If they make a better mousetrap, or light ASEL, good for them. I’ll buy it or fly it if it works better than then next one.

  123. David Patton Says:

    I think we need to protect our interest here in the USA , keep our jobs and technology here. We need to to get pro private interprise representatives in office to make a change.

  124. Jeff Kinzinger Says:

    Business is business. I wish we could find investors who would be willing to invest in our future, in our country. We need to have Something American owned and made don’t we? All the time I hear in the news is aviation companies being bought by China or taking their manufacturing to China. Sometimes right after laying off thousands of workers (ie.Cessna)

    The USA has led aviation and aeronautics since the reality of flight. Are we really going to just let it all quietly slip away? Does anyone remember KittyHawk…Orville and WIlbur ring a bell? We have to stop the madness. The future of our country’s manufacturing, jobs and aviation is at stake. I believe now is the time to help boost GA and start a resurgence in American made airplanes for the Twenty First century pilot.
    We are the greatest country in the world! When are we going to stop and fight back?

  125. Ron V Says:

    Lets see, in China they build the Skycatcher, now own Cirrus, own/soon to own Continental Motors and 95% of items sold in Wal-Mart are made in China.
    You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand why we have close to 10% unemployment.

    Wake up America before it’s too late!!

  126. Gary Moore Says:

    I’m curious how all of the posters who state they will never buy, use, or partake of anything made or owned by the Chinese were able to add their comments to this thread? It had to be done on a computer and it’s doubtful that computer was made in the US.

  127. Robert W Tucker Says:

    I understand the economic benefits of international trade and the pressures that can bear on an organization trying to survive in the current U.S. economy.

    This said, I think we can do much more than we are doing to come up with creative solutions, including economic incentives and disincentives, to retain jobs and profits in the U.S.

    There are times when our focus should be global interdependence and times when we need to hunker down and focus on our own challenges. These times are clearly the latter.

  128. Bruce Young Says:

    I am astounded at the number of “Americans” who seemingly have no concern for the future of this country. I avoid buying Chinese products whenever and wherever I can. I have owned four airplanes and am in the market for my fifth, but it will NEVER be a Chinese airplane. The new owners of Cirrus can sell their airplanes to the Chinese workers who are earning $5 a week making cheap copies of American products. If Cirrus folds up their tent and goes away forever, I won’t miss them. Good riddance!

  129. Greg Stark Says:

    I have not, nor WILL I read any comments posted above. I doubt my REAL AMERICAN COMMENTS will apppear. But….folks;

    SCREW CHINA. For certain, ( If I needed some…) my damned CONDOMS would be made there.

    NO. Dammint. NO.

    Greg Stark
    Member # 01194604

    Solo’d in ’69.
    Wanda Strassburg San Luis Obispo,Calif.!!!

  130. Lin Weeks Says:

    Hi Tom,
    Free market capitalism is in operation and the results are what we are seeing. Companies like Cirrus go bankrupt all the time. Companies, unlike governments, must pay ALL their bills and a few months of negative cash flow can put almost any company at risk. I’m sure Cirrus would have welcomed a rescue by US investors. But, American investors are apparently more interested in putting their capital to work in other industries and investments. We are more and more in a global economy and national barriers are fewer and fewer.
    Personally, I believe America is in decline socially and economically and more US companies will over time be bought by foreign interests. Our government spends like a drunken sailor and at some point, I believe our grandchildren or subsequent generations will revolt and refuse to pay for the selfish excesses of their ancestors. When that happens, the USA will default on US debt instruments and the USA will decline to the level of economic mediocrity or worse.

  131. Brain Says:

    A business has a right to do what it needs to to survive. Perhaps this was the only thing Cirrus could do to save the business. However, I will not make a big ticket purchase from a company whose profits do not go back into this country.

  132. john hart Says:

    The majority of these responses are against the Cirrus decision. Does anyone think this might lower the demand/price for used Cirrus?

  133. Jayme from Minnesota Says:

    I’m a former employee who left in early 2000, and took my stock options with me, at a hefty price. I stand to lose about $8000 of my investment after this deal is said and done. Not too thrilled.

  134. jock barker Says:

    It is a sad day when we all will work for Communist China.

  135. Fred from PA Says:

    Response to john hart: I have been searching for my first airplane in the used market and had been eyeing some deals on SR-20’s, but this move has changed my thinking and am now looking primarily at Piper, Commander, and possibly Cessna. I am concerned that backlash over Chinese deal may just weaken Cirrus beyond ability to survive leaving unknown problems for future support / parts, etc. Can’t imagine that this won’t adversely affect resale value of Cirrus products at least in the short run.

  136. Washy Says:

    No government is perfect. No individuals are perfect. Probably, the officials at Cirrus are compelled to take this action. It just needs to be checked that there were no personal motives / interests (such as kickbacks?).

    For the US government, it should be evaluated as a failure in business management not because it is with a foreign government but because it is the Chinese government. The records are: Tiananmen massacre, Taiwan bullying, Tibet occupation, Land grab and occupation of India’s territory violating the International McMahon Line, Bullying and threatening the Phillipines, Indonesia, Malaysia and other Asian nations for their rightful territories such as the Spratly islands and many more, Internet freedom control and uncountable human rights violations, military support of terrorist and dictatorial regimes such as Pakistan, North Korea. It’s endless. The only counter-balance is the US military and it is losing to the economic strength of China partly because China is being strengthened by US companies doing business with it.

    If Cirrus needs international help, it should seek countries which don’t have such terrible records. It empowers those governments and makes them use, misuse and abuse their strength further. Cirrus is a great company. It would be a pity that it went into the Chinese bandwagon and group of the many socially irresponsible companies that strengthen the Chinese government’s ability to dictate to people – especially beyond its borders. Let’s hope it’s not a case where the attitude is: “If you can’t beat them, join them”.

    It would be great if the US govt had the willingness and ability of providing some form of financial encouragment that that supports business with more democratic regimes. China is simply way down in the list. Let’s all re-think about how we can contribute at a personal level. Maybe one way is: When possible, don’t buy Chinese made products.

    God Bless Cirrus and its employees. May they have the wisdom to make the right decisions.

  137. jay earnshaw Says:

    too easy to sell out…if the market won’t support a great airplane, built in US by US citizens, then the aircraft should be shunned. Too bad the owner/developer doesn’t have the guts to hang on until the market improves. We, in US, owe entirely too much to China and selling that good airplane only exacerbates our balance of payments problems. Fie upon thee,

  138. Haroon Says:

    CAIGA is owned by the Chinese Government, in effect the Communist Party. Well done Cirrus!

    Let me make a bold prediction, Cirrus will remain a US company with an American workforce.
    CAIGA will use the Cirrus’s know how and produce a Chinese “design and built” GA aircraft very similar to the Cirrus range for about (dare I say) a quarter of the price, eating into Cirrus’s market share. Eventually, Cirrus will be lead to a slow quiet demise.

    If I’m proven wrong, beers on me!

  139. Bill Maxton Says:

    It is all very simple. I was on an interest list for a Cirrus aircraft. Subsequent to the buyout, I will no longer be interested in any Cirrus product. Ever.

  140. Justin Turco Says:

    Very disappointed that they sold out to the China. Even MORE disappointed by Cessna’s “China Made” Skycatcher. If I had the money I wouldn’t buy either one of these aircraft now.

    Bad move for America. But then again….you can’t even buy a pair of Levi’s made here.

    It’s a bipartisan mess. I don’t blame either side.

    The FAILURE of our country is picking up speed. This…just another piece of the puzzle. America IS doomed!

  141. Justin Turco Says:

    Maybe I should put that differently. It’s a bipartisan mess and I blame BOTH sides!

  142. john hart Says:

    In response to Justin Turco. I don’t see Conservative Republicans supporting regulations, high taxes or unions.

  143. Ken Dillon Says:

    i bought and own a Cirrus because it is American, and i loved the people that build it. its funny how all those “Japnese/American” factories came to a grinding halt with the tsunamia. i thought they were built here?

  144. Greg Morrison Says:

    The chinese will steal the intellectual property,manufacturing know how, then put Cirrus out of business. In the long run Cirrus will lose. I was thinking about buying a Cessna Skycatcher just for fun, until I found out it is built in china.I buy American cars and American Aircraft. We are slowly destroying our manufacturing, formerly the envy of the world.

  145. Gary Moore Says:

    I guess many of you will now have to stop flying Piper now…

    I’m curious why there hasn’t been the same outrage over this sale and there was over Cirrus??

  146. joe Says:

    Why complaining? the US bought for 30 years a lot of companies in the world especially in Europe. No European was complaining about that.
    Why US may have the opportunity to do this and the Chinese not?
    It is hypocrit to blame them for their air polution and human rights, but in the meanwhile doing bussines with them.
    That China bought Cirrus is good for US economy and Cirrus employees.
    Maybe it is hard for you to except that China is becoming a world power and have more money than US
    For me as European I don’t have the arrogance,if it is Chinese, European or American product.
    Our manufactures from BMW using alloy wheels and other products from China for their car
    Is it a bad car? No
    Apple is made in China, all over the world they love Apple design in US products.
    So it is foolish to complain that Chinese only make bad stuff.
    But nowhere day’s Chinese are better bussinesman than Americans and they have a lot of money.
    So don’t complain and put the blame on the Chinese, They are not lazy and work average 15 hours a day.
    The difference with Chinese and Americans is that Chinese people listen and always has a solution for a problem, their motto,give the people what they want

  147. IggyRules Says:

    “The difference with Chinese and Americans is that Chinese people listen and always has a solution for a problem, their motto,give the people what they want.”

    Aahhhh.. yeah… right… They are freaking Communists who use the intellectual property being sold by gutless, soulless U.S. corporations to further oppression and slavery.

    Chinese Communists give the consumers the junk they want cheap and give their people – what…?? They give their people what they want?? Really – do you really think the Chinese people want to live under the conditions they do. You’re a tool. So are ignorant capitalist jingos and leftists who posted above. Interesting how jingos and leftist hate each other except on this one issue.

  148. Barney Says:

    I wish that the Sirrus company could have made it without the Chinese. Why does it seem that American companies cannot stay in business. Are the Chinese really better business men and women?

  149. Peter Flynn Says:

    I worked at Cirrus during their first boom and the company was so much fun. The Chinese are buying all of our companies and why would general aviation be exempt? It is what it is. Saying that China is the next big avition market is whistling past the graveyard. It’s a pipe dream and Brent Wouters who was my first student there is an extremely smart guy but I think he’s being a cheerleader on this. I still have Cirrus in my heart and always will. The SR22 was the best single engine aircraft I ever flew. I hope the Chinese don’t ruin it.


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