He concedes that Dassault has been approached by Chinese groups, including AVIC, to consider production in China. But Rosanvallon says Dassault decided against that option. “We could not make sense of it from an economic standpoint,” he says.
Despite its economic woes, Europe remains a strong market for the French manufacturer. The North American market, however, “is still catching up,” Rosanvallon says, adding the company is “rebuilding hope that 2013 will show a nice improvement for the U.S. market.”
Meanwhile, Dassault continues to eye improvements and new products to help expand its presence in the super midsize, large cabin and long-range markets. The company is planning to unveil the SMS, which has long been on the drawing board, during the National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition this fall.
But for now, the company is celebrating the roots of its business jet line, marking the 50th anniversary of the first flight of its venerable Falcon 20. That aircraft took to the skies on May 4, 1963.