Superior Air Parts held a press conference at EAA AirVenture this morning to announce that it has reduced prices on certain components, but much of the conference was devoted to the new Chinese ownership of the company and the implications for the business going forward.
Superior Air Parts CEO Tim Archer read a statement from the new chairman of Superior Aviation Beijing, and said he found only positives in the new ownership arrangement. When asked why Western investors failed to step up to acquire companies like Superior from bankruptcy, he was at a loss to explain it.
Superior is back to delivering product, though not at the level he’d like to see, Archer said. Part of this is is getting suppliers back on board as the the company has strived to work out better deals with suppliers to increase efficiencies. “We have had some small successes,” Archer said, “allowing us to roll back prices on selected parts. We pass these savings on to the customer when we can.” Price reductions apply to some of the Millennium cylinder assemblies, valve seats and gasket sets.Superior has also started delivering XP engines, Archer said, and Vantage engines will begin deliveries in September. Cylinders are coming back on track as well, he added.
When asked about the status of build schools that allow owners to come to the factory and complete an engine with factory assistance, Archer said this program would be reinstated “as soon as we’re back in full production.”
A mirror facility of the Texas factory has been built in Beijing and the first round of employee training has been completed. One 360-hp engine has been built in China thus far, and engines that are manufactured in China will be intended primarily for the growing Chinese and Asian markets. The Texas Superior Air Parts facility will supply engines for North America and other markets worldwide. As far as continuing investment, Archer said that as the five companies held by the Beijing company grow and achieve profitability, money will be funneled to them.
When asked about the regulatory climate in China with regard to aviation, Archer said it was too soon to comment, because he would be meeting with the CAAC (equivalent to the U.S. FAA) next week. But so far, “I’ve been impressed with the speed at which things happen,” Archer said. “I’ve gotten nothing but support so far.”
There is much enthusiasm for general aviation in China, Archer said, mentioning that a Two Weeks to Taxi Sportsman had been delivered recently. And Superior Aviation Beijing is very interested in growing its aircraft, rotorcraft and engine business. “They’re looking at several companies outside of China to grow their portfolio,” Archer said, “to prepare for China’s growth.”
For more information, visit www.superiorairparts.com.