Can Mooney and Cirrus save General Aviation?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by FloridaPilot, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    I love BOTH air frames and if I had a choice I would choose Mooney. The problem though is (I mentioned in a previous post) I visited the Mooney tent at Sun and Fun. I didn't get good customer service at all, most of the reps I spoke to weren't very polite. I spoke to 5 Mooney reps in a span of 4 days and there was one person, (Who was not a sales guy) was very good and I spoke to him for a while. He was a technical support guy and I wished him the best. I go every year to the Mooney tent and I speak to Richard who is a sales guy The best guy I ever met at Mooney but he didn't attend SnF this year.

    I went over to the Cirrus tent at the Warbird section of Snf and the sales people there were very good and I was looking at the SF50 (Which was a mock up) and the new SR22 with the LED lighting they wanted to know if I had any questions and was willing to help....ALL of the reps!

    If I wanted to buy a plane today, I would buy a Cirrus even though I like Mooney's better. This might just be the time of day that I got there or some other unknown factor that I didn't consider but I wonder how many sales they have lost with the kind of customer service they had at Mooney.

    This is why Cirrus does this:

    20170409_141924.jpg
    Mooney get your $#!t together

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    There's a reason why Cirrus has been the best selling single for several years.
     
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  3. EminiTrader

    EminiTrader Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't know how many planes Mooney sells in a year but I can't imagine it's as many as Cirrus. I've flown a Mooney and it was a great plane. I never dealt with the company so I can't speak to the customer service or support but they've been around a long time. I've been to the Cirrus Duluth plant many times and the new plant once. Everyone in that place is a pleasure to deal with. Great people that take pride in their aircraft. While I would never buy a new one as for the money I'd get a used turbine, for the foreseeable future I see myself continuing to fly Cirrus.
     
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  4. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    This thread should make its way to Mooney management asap


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  5. wrbix

    wrbix Cleared for Takeoff

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    General Aviation, IMHO, will not be saved by new airplane manufacturers. What small % of the American population can (or should) afford such a purchase?
    Look elsewhere.
     
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  6. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    Seems to me the LSA rules and industry response to them has done more to revitalize GA than anything the mainstream manufacturers, including Cirrus, are doing (or perhaps even able to do these days?)

    The number of LSA designs I've seen at OSH this decade surprised me, and some of them look like pretty fine little airplanes that hopefully allow more people to get involved in aviation at an "affordable" cost.
     
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  7. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

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  8. Acrodustertoo

    Acrodustertoo Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Yeah, million dollar airplanes are going to save an industry that is running out of pilots because we can't afford million dollar airplanes.

    Next question Sherlock.
     
  9. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Nice repeat same thing on multiple threads.
    Mooney was on a bit of a hiatus awaiting Ultra certification. There are twice as many Mooneys in the world than Cirruses and Diamond just announced a bunch of DA50s some of em retract. Now suddenly Cirrus will be the one saddled with a 20+year old design. Game on.


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  10. Salty

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    I tried to ask a couple questions about the mooney sitting outside, and I was dutifully ignored for 20 minutes until I finally got someone to talk to me. I asked progressively easier questions until I was asking things I already knew and he couldn't answer even the basics that were one the brochure. He'd just say, those guys could tell you, but isn't it a pretty plane? I mean, go read the damn brochure before you stand next to the plane with a factory shirt on.
     
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  11. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    There are multiple threads on the same subject. The numbers tell the story. Cirrus is alone with more than 6500 planes in the air, 20% year over year growth rate and nearly 40% market share. There is no competition for them in their markets. Mooney selling 7 planes in 2016 is why their CEO is getting erratic and rattling saber. Talk is cheap.
     
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  12. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Add some value to the conversation some time. Don't ignore the criticisms of your arguments.


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  13. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    This is the age old story in aviation. Mooney is currently not generating much free cash flow from aircraft sales. It has just cancelled the M10, an airplane into which it must have invested significant development resources. To develop another new product will require considerable external equity capital, and a lengthy certification process. And from some posts on this thread it would appear Mooney has not the resources to invest in creating a skilled marketing staff with adequate product knowledge.

    The new CEO has a lot of work ahead. I think Mooney has made the correct first move though - give the existing product more appeal. Now they need to move the 50 to 60 units they want to sell this year by targeting people that want to show up on the ramp with something different from the "crowd". ;)

    Mooney used to use a byline "The Personal Airliner" (or something like that). Their logical market are the same people that might buy Lambos and Ferraris. They aren't selling to the BMW/Audi with-a-back-seat-and-airbags crowd; Cirrus has that territory locked up. Mooney needs to market it as an uncompromising airplane geared around the pilot, to go places fast.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  14. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    Cirrus and Mooney can help save the high net-worth niche, the folks who want to fly, but are risk adverse; the ones who want the straight-and-level, uber-safe platforms. Where you rotate, engage autopilot, fly to Hilton Head, disengage the AP, and flare a few minutes later. Clean, sanitary, and with the illusion of adventure, but a long, long way from the original thrill of flying. . .

    Lot of folks want that format, and that's OK. . . I just don't think "mainstream" GA,as now constituted, is an "adventure" magnet; maybe acro, soaring, and some experimentals still exude adventure - most of GA does not. . .
     
  15. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have to say. I do not know any pilots at my airport that have LSA license. I have not had anyone come in looking to get a LSA license. So I don't know what LSA has really done to save, revitalize, or promote GA.
     
  16. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's interesting....maybe I spoke to the same guy that you did at the Mooney display. He was very nice, helpful and gave me some info on the plane despite I am not even a pilot yet. The guy I spoke to at Piper was also extremely nice and didn't make fun of me too much when I couldn't fit into the PA-46 static display they had.

    IF you want to save GA, you need to talk to the business owners or the outside sales reps. Get them to see the value in time gained by flying GA.
     
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  17. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Affordability is key, but I don't see LSA doing any real favors for GA. As cool as some of the LSA designs are they're ultimately not "real" planes. Pilots want real planes with at least 4 seats, and proper air speeds. LSA is a neat idea and I had hopes for it to at least get people into flying, but it's just not going to cut it. The data shows this. This is quoted from an article from 2014, but seems to hold true today

    "The LSA market as a whole has not reached takeoff speed: between 2009 and 2012, total LSA deliveries averaged just 255 per year. That may not be disastrous, but considering there are nearly 50 companies producing LSAs, it’s not good. For comparison, Cirrus alone delivered 276 of its (vastly more expensive) SR20 and SR22 airplanes last year." Source
     
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  18. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Exactly. I read a lot of positive press about LSA, but I am not seeing any actual evidence of this at the airports I visit or pilots and students I talk to. And I think it ultimately comes down to the fact that pilots (as we know them) want real planes that can do real things for them and their families. The LSA tries to be tapping into a market that doesn't really exist, since the people who *should* like the LSA planes are already out there flying hang gliders, ultralights, etc.
     
  19. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    20% year over year growth rate? Keep up that sort of nonsense and POA might be accused of publishing fake news. :D

    Cirrus is a remarkable company, and has accomplished a great deal, but in the last decade it has never had a single year where it's y-o-y growth approached anything close to 20%.

    Here's the numbers. Read 'em and weep:
    Figures are total units sold followed by y-o-y percentage change.

    2006 721
    2007 710 -1.5%
    2008 549 -23%
    2009 268 -51%
    2010 264 -1.5%
    2011 255 -3.4%
    2012 253 -0.7%
    2013 276 + 9%
    2014 308 + 12%
    2015 301 - 2%
    2016 317 + 5%

    2016 production of 317 airplanes remains 56% below a decade earlier.
     
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  20. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    GA is affordable. People just spend money on stupid stuff these days. We had a thread a while back about it.

    I see people all the time with 100k worth of cars at their home. You can buy a nice GA plane for that money.
     
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  21. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    2009 was the peak of the financial crisis. Would be interesting to see if that average number has moved either way as the economy has continued to grow.

    Real pilots may want real airplanes, but I suspect that of the average 255 LSAs sold each of those years not a single one of those buyers would have purchased a new Cirrus (your comparison above) airplane instead. ;)
     
  22. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Agree. But there's a perception. When people find out I'm a pilot they assume I'm rich... I only wish! But the perception is that it's too expensive to even consider. People also want easy and instant gratification now... so between the cost perception and the time and effort commitment it's going to be tough to conjure energy in GA

    A lot of those cars are on leases though, and the maintenance and other costs of ownership are more manageble. If I could lease a 172, Archer, Arrow, or even in SR20 for $700 / mo or less for 3 years and have all my maintenance managed and taken care of that would be a game changer
     
  23. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    I'd love to see that data too, esp with the economy improving, elections behind us, etc. but I've been unable to find a good apples to apples comparison. The article was posted in 2014 so it's not ancient, but something showing 2016 sales figures comparing GA piston singles and LSA would be interesting
     
  24. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    Mooney save it? No. They need to worry about saving themselves. You can't sell 7 planes and be viable for long. When 10 is a good year, you're still in trouble. The people buying new planes aren't excited about mooney, and poor customer service doesn't help. Cirrus goes above and beyond and is the stuff of dreams for most people. While Mooney is busy innovating with two doors, Cirrus is killing it on a great platform that people want. Took me 30 seconds of sitting inside an acclaim to know I didn't want one. I don't care if the gear folds up. It's another point of failure and for me the features and community and support just aren't there.

    Cirrus' challenge is they have to keep it up. Diamond is doing some great stuff. Light twins become more appealing at 900k. Used turboprops are just a stretch away. There's no way I'd pay 900k for a new cirrus. And certainly no way I'd pay for a new mooney.

    Saving general aviation requires more than fancy, pricey planes. Cirrus is doing its part, mooney is sadly becoming more irrelevant, and I have no idea what Cessna is doing. 450k for a 172G1000 isn't going to help the situation. With the cost of doing business, and only a couple will survive. Then we'll get TOTALLY screwed on costs
     
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  25. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think both of your replies touch on instant gratification.

    100k worth of car lease is still going to be over $1000 a month. Imagine if you saved $12,000 a year for 5 years.

    That would net you $60,000 dollars.

    That is enough money to get your PPL, have a nice big Mx reserve and have 20% down for a $50-75k dollar plane.

    When you tell someone to have $60k to be a pilot, they'll crap their pants. But when you point out how they are spending more than that on car notes they start to see.
     
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  26. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    that's just too much for a new single engine 4 seat piston anything... they're definitely at the upper end there

    this is what's most upsetting... WTF Cessna??
     
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  27. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    I don't think you know much about the mooney.
     
  28. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    The challenge is if no one is buying new airplanes then the used market is going to eventually dry up. Customers HAVE to buy new airplanes to keep the used market moving.
     
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  29. blurceo

    blurceo Pre-Flight

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    I actually met a pretty nice guy at the Mooney tent. But the guy at the TBM truck, I mean you talk about wanting to talk. We went on and for about a hour about TBM and everything else. He was a trainer for them and not a sales guy but could tell you about everything you wanted to know about TBMs. Shame not everyone was like that
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017
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  30. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    New airplanes ain't going to make or break GA, nor is the sky falling.

    The biggest threat to GA is government, like ADSB, inflation, making a student cert harder to get, etc etc
     
  31. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    Agreed
     
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  32. Caramon13

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    I said it in another thread. The greatest thing about new planes is two-fold: There's always some sucker out there willing to pay full retail for them and they eventually become old planes.

    Old planes are more affordable and unless you need the greatest new wizbang gadgets for your 100 mile burger runs then why bother with a new one?

    I was looking for a partnership in a C172 a year ago and one guy I talked to didn't even wanted to consider a plane unless it was 2000 or newer. That cuts out like..half or more of the market heh..
     
  33. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    LOL!

    Cirrus & Mooney? Nope. Amateur built airplanes are way way cheaper. There really isn't a need to buy a certified 4 seat low wing airplane anymore, unless you want the added safety of a parachute.
     
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  34. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    I really hope Mooney is successful. Think about how they can't seem to move products AND they are adding another certification effort. Hopefully when the next one is certified they can afford to market it. Hopefully timing is good and when released the economy is good. Alignment of the planets is going to make or break them.
     
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  35. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    I hope so too!
    You can see from the figures I posted above Cirrus is currently selling fewer than half the airplanes it was before the 08/09 financial crisis. It survived by selling to a deep pocketed Chinese government owned company.

    Mooney has yet to recover from that cataclysmic event. Beechcraft didn't make it either.
     
  36. murphey

    murphey Final Approach

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    Many years ago I worked for a major computer company that no longer exists. Computer version of Big Iron. Altho an engineer, I frequently went with the sales rep as the tech expert and trainer. While he,was working magic on TPTB, I was geeking out with the techs and engineers. Essentially I was doing the real selling, he was getting the contracts signed. Always talk to the tech people. They're more enthusiastic about the product and they know more!
     
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  37. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    A Sport Pilot can only fly an LSA. But all other pilots can fly LSA and certified aircraft. So LSA are just another choice of aircraft for all pilots.
     
  38. FloridaPilot

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    I really think that we all want Mooney to do well. Even if you don't necessarily care because you like a different model, you should at least respect what they have done. They make good airplanes and they are rated among the best in the GA industry for efficiency. What they are lacking IMO is the reps and the marketing budget to bring it back from oblivion. When you discontinue a model that sends the wrong message to customers and employees, especially employees who need to sell these airplanes to make a living.

    Product knowledge is NOT a company thing, (No one should have to hold your hand to teach you the product) That's an individual thing, be proactive. If you were really interested in the product you would learn about it and for some it's in their DNA. Those that know the product well are successful or is well on their way. Why not learn about the product you are trying to sell? You can simply Google and find the POH in a pdf, study the main points and you will be far more knowledgeable. Preparation will make you successful. Too many people focus on what they don't have, instead of what they do have and can work with.
     
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  39. FloridaPilot

    FloridaPilot Pattern Altitude

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    No one said the sky is falling, we just want Mooney to get it together. Mooney has the products to compete with Cirrus right now but how they market and how they treat potential customers in the new AND used market will be important. GA isn't going anywhere but the reason why I said "Save" GA is because there are a lot of challenges to overcome, Regs, Prices for new, Prices for parts, availability..etc. Demand can help fix all of these and laws can changed if the demand is strong enough.

    At SnF I met Carol Ann, she was the first person to fly around the world in 8 days in a single engine airplane. Who outside of GA knows about that? Most people don't know GA exists.
     
  40. midcap

    midcap Cleared for Takeoff

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    Mooney needs to focus on their core competencies. Speed and Efficiency. They also need to get a marketing campaign going. Start advertising in the Robb Report, partner up with a Performance car company and do some joint advertising. Become a lifestyle company. They need to be sending a "welcome to aviation" packet to every person that get's a new medical or starts training. Find the biggest GA training schools in the country and jointly do marketing. Make it so that when someone wants to move up to a faster plane, Mooney is what you think of.
     
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