VERO BEACH — Despite indications that the recession is over, Piper is still having problems finding buyers for its planes.
According to industry advocate the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, sales for Piper planes were down from $57.45 million in the third quarter of 2008 to $23.05 million this past quarter. Compared to the rest of the industry Piper enjoyed a robust 2008 despite the downturn in the economy as the company filled orders made before the worldwide economic crash.
Piper sold just 24 planes from July through September, including 9 of their popular Matrix model and 8 Meredian. In 2008, the company sold 77 planes, including 27 of the Matrix alone.
Company officials have predicted they should see an upturn in sales next year and have forecast as many as 200 planes will come to market. Piper has also announced recently that it will is delaying bringing its next new project – the PiperJet — to market until the middle of 2013.