G300 production winds down, Gulfstream mum on follow-on

 - January 31, 2007, 10:53 AM

Gulfstream is reportedly preparing a new model to succeed the G300, reliable industry sources have informed AIN. Expected to be introduced during the first quarter of this year (possibly late this month at the Singapore show), the new model would apparently take the place of the current G300 in Gulfstream’s production lineup.

When asked about a “G350” coming down the pike, a Gulfstream spokesman said, “If, when and as Gulfstream is ready to announce a new product, we will do so at
the appropriate time.

“When we introduced the G450 [at the NBAA Convention last year] you will recall it was made very clear that the market would dictate what was going to happen with
the G400 and G300,” said the Gulfstream spokesman. “We sold [an undisclosed number of] G400s and because the G400 has a different engine and different cockpit [compared with the 450], they are no longer available. The same with the G300. We are finishing up manufacturing them to fill out the last orders.”

Both the current G300 and G400 were introduced at the 2002 NBAA Convention in Orlando some 17 months ago. Both models were derived from the original GIV-SP–the G300 being a lower-priced ($26 million), shorter-range, less option-laden version than its G400 counterpart. Priced lower than any other large-cabin Gulfstream, the G300 was introduced to take market share away from the Challenger 604 category.

The Savannah-based manufacturer dismissed industry speculation that the G300’s $26 million price took market share away from the $31 million G400. “The G400 outsold the G300 almost two to one, and where we competed with the G300 it was a new market where we had not competed before and the G400 wouldn’t have competed there either,” said the spokesman. Gulfstream is thought to have sold about a dozen G300s.

Why stop production of the G300 and G400? “We are no longer getting engines or avionics for these models,” said the spokesman, adding that the G450 is the G550 cockpit mated to a GIV fuselage lengthened by one foot. At the 2003 NBAA Convention in October, Gulfstream said the G450, scheduled for certification in the fourth quarter of this year, would cost about $33 million and have the PlaneView avionics that are also standard on the G500 and G550.

Gulfstream offered no information on any improvements the successor to the G300 might introduce. However, it is believed it will also have the PlaneView cockpit and other updates that, presumably, will bring with them a price tag higher than the $26 million commanded by the G300.