Cessna Aircraft CEO Scott Ernest told reporters at EBACE, a corporate jet show in Geneva, Switzerland, that the production line for its smallest jets was never suspended. It is still going, but slowly, and just how that slowness was achieved was never explained. The small jet market is terrible right now and Cessna was getting pressure to lower prices below the profit level. Confusion came when parent company Textron’s CEO, Scott Donnelly, said during a phone call with stock analysts that the smaller jets like the CitationJet and Mustang would be built to a good stopping point, and then the company would “stop production” on the models. I reported the line would be paused because Donnelly implied that production would be resumed at some point. Then Cessna officials called, wanting to know where I got such an erroneous impression. So, I played Textron’s own recording of Donnelly over the phone and stopped it just after Donnelly said, “…stop production.” “What does ‘stop production’ mean?” I asked. I was told, “We’ll call you back.” I got a statement in a phone call a few minutes later that any comment as to how “slowness” is achieved “was speculation.” I asked if that meant Donnelly was guilty of speculation, but didn’t get an answer to that question, either. So, if you looked at the small-jet production line, would everyone be moving in slow motion? That’s speculation.
Tags: cessna, jet production, slow production, small jets