Diamond Aircraft – Sale or Investment?
I love Diamond Aircraft – the company and the product. I used to work for Diamond Canada and there are great people working at all levels of the company. They are led by Christian Dries, a very reclusive, very wealthy and very generous individual who created and driven the company for over 20 years. He has created one of the largest general aviation aircraft companies on the planet from nothing.
I received a press release today that confirmed the rumors I have been hearing for weeks. Diamond have sold 60% of Diamond Canada and the rights to the DA40 and the DA62 to Wanfeng Aviation, a Chinese-funded entity.
This is being announced as an investment, I am sure it is that, but it is also a sale. Diamond Austria have retained ownership of the DA42 (the cash cow) and the DA20. The shuttered D-Jet program has been sold to Wanfeng as well.
I am sure this is good news. Chinese-backed investors have made critical investments in the US general aviation sector and this has proven to be very positive – thus far. Cirrus. Mooney, and Continental motors are still in operation in part because of the generosity of Chinese backers.
So – what does this mean for Diamond Canada? According to the media release (attached to this post) the manufacturing of the DA40 and DA62 will transition to Canada by the end of 2017 and they will continue to manufacture the DA20 and DA42. Diamond have also been successful in bringing in work from outside the company from Northrop Grumman and the Dornier Seaplane Co.
My assessment is that this will be a positive change for Diamond Canada and we wish them all the best for the future.