Cessna has firmed up its plans to build business jets in China by sealing a joint venture with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company Ltd. (Caiga) to assemble and sell Citation XLS+ models for the Chinese market. The deal, which was announced at Airshow China 2012 on November 14, builds on the strategic agreement that Cessna signed with Caiga’s parent company Aviation Industry Corp. of China (Avic) in March 2012.
Under the terms of the new joint venture, which subject to governmental approval, Cessna’s Wichita factory will provide components, parts and sub-assemblies for aircraft that will then be assembled at a factory in Zhuhai, in the southern province of Guangdong. The Caiga plant will also handle painting, testing, cabin interior installation and delivery of the XLS+ to Chinese customers. Apart from reduced final assembly costs, the joint venture also provides a way to avoid cumbersome Chinese import rules for foreign-built aircraft. At the time of the March 2012 agreement, Cessna indicated that Citation Longitude and Sovereign could eventually be produced in another factory in Chengdu, but these plans were not mentioned in this week’s announcement.
The management of the joint venture will include board members from both Cessna and Caiga, with its general manager being nominated by Cessna and a deputy general manager coming from Caiga.
“We are extremely pleased with this joint-venture contract and we look forward to producing high-quality business jets for the Chinese market,” said Bill Schultz, Cessna’s senior vice president of business development for China. “Customers can expect rigorous testing and quality controls that are the hallmark of our reliable aircraft family.”