Piper Aircraft officials attending an airshow in Singapore have reinforced the company’s plan to expand into the Pacific Rim and other Asian markets.
CEO Kevin Gould has said that under the new ownership of Singapore-based Imprimis, which purchased Piper with the backing of the Brunei government, the company is putting into place expansion plans. However, the company also reiterated that at present any expansion would not mean the loss of Indian River County factory jobs.
“At the moment we don’t have plans to move production,” Gould was quoted from the airshow by FlightGlobal.com. He did add, however, that should the need arise “in the future we are certainly open to alternative sites for manufacturing.”
Piper made news last month when it announced it was getting into the light sport aircraft market with a licensing and sales agreement with a Czech Republic company to sell and distribute the PiperSport. Those planes will be built in the Czech Republic.
In order to facilitate moving into Asia, the company announced it was creating Piper Aircraft Asia, which will be based in Brunei, to oversee its Asian initiatives and is considering sites in Brunei for a flight training academy.
After two years of layoffs and a change in ownership Piper is beginning to build some momentum. The company is hiring engineers and moving forward with plans for its signature PiperJet and has begun hiring back some workers in anticiaption of a 50 percent increase in production over last year.
“Imprimis’ purchase of Piper has enabled us to get the PiperJet back on track, fueled our expansion – especially within Asia and the Pacific Rim – and given us the capability to bring the new PiperSport to market,” Gould told our sister publication, Vero Beach 32963, in an earlier interview. “Piper’s capabilities, its excellent dealer family and extensive customer base, coupled with Imprimis’ support, its dedication to growing the companies in which it invests, and Imprimis’ extensive contacts within Asia provide fertile ground for Piper to expand its business.”