Things With Wings

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  • The Only Thing Bombardier Needs To Close Is A Sale
    Posted by Leithen Francis 1:36 AM on Sep 02, 2011

    Never has a sales job been so important. The sales team at Bombardier commercial aircraft can go to work knowing that what they achieve in the coming weeks or days will determine whether some of their blue-collar colleagues at Bombardier's Mirabel (Montreal) and Toronto factories will still have a job at Christmas.

    The aircraft-maker's backlog on Q400 and CRJ-series aircraft has reached such a low - 40 and 61 aircraft respectively - that unless the sales team can pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat, the aircraft-maker will have to scale down production on these two aircraft types.

    The failure to generate Q400 and CRJ sales potentially also puts the commercial aircraft division in a bind financially later on. The best way to generate cash-flow is to sell aircraft that are delivered to customers early.

    Selling CSeries is a good development, but this new aircraft type isn't due to have entry into service until 2013. That doesn't help the company's 2012 cash-flow as much as CRJ and Q400 deliveries. The company needs to generate cash-flow because, as we all know, certification of a new aircraft type is a costly exercise. Just look at what happened to Dornier with the 728.

    Bombardier's newly appointed acting president Guy Hachey has tried to explain away the poor sales performance on Q400s and CRJs by attributing it to the global economic situation. But that just sounds like a poor excuse, considering ATR is ramping up production of ATR 72s. Embraer, meanwhile, has a backlog of 272 E-Jets on firm order, according to Ascend.


    "A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing." - Blake (Glengarry Glen Ross 1992).

    Tags: TW99, Bombardier, Mirabel, CRJ, Q400, Bombardier sales

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