Wednesday, December 21, 2016

China's Wanfeng Takes Control Of Diamond Canada

Wanfeng Aviation, the Canada-based division of a Chinese conglomerate, this week confirmed that it recently acquired a controlling, 60 percent stake in Diamond Aircraft Industries, Inc. (aka Diamond Canada). As part of the deal announced on December 20, Diamond Canada has acquired all rights to the seven-passenger DA62 twin and four-passenger DA40 single from its Austrian parent company Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH (Diamond Austria). Production and type-design responsibility for these models will transfer from Austria to Diamond’s London, Ontario site by the end of 2017.

Wanfeng’s investment may ultimately help to rekindle plans for the single-engine D-Jet program, which was put on hold in 2013 due to lack of funds. In a press statement, Diamond commented: “The scope of the investment in the Canadian Diamond companies also includes D-Jet Corp. The future of the D-Jet and/or possible derivative aircraft is subject to ongoing review.”

Diamond Austria will remain independent of Diamond Canada, but will support the new owners with production and development activities. It will retain type design and production responsibility for the DV20 and DA42 models. Existing licensed production arrangements for the Chinese market are not related to the Wanfeng investment. Diamond Austria also will continue to develop the Dart turboprop aerobatic trainer and the DA50 models.

Wanfeng’s investment also does not affect authorized service centers. Existing Diamond authorized distribution partners will continue to provide service to customers. Furthermore, factory direct sales will be handled by the manufacturer of each model.

Peter Maurer will continue as CEO of Diamond Canada. Wanfeng group’s Frank Chen has been appointed chairman. All current models produced by both Diamond Austria and Diamond Canada will continue to be branded as Diamond Aircraft. There will be no changes in the Diamond Austria management team.

“This investment will support expanded production, sales and service activities globally, with a strengthened focus on the U.S. market,” said Diamond Aircraft.

(Samantha Cartaino - AINOnline News)

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