Eclipse Production Slowdown Trickling to Suppliers

 - August 21, 2008, 11:59 AM

With a strong vested interest in a revitalized Eclipse Aviation, Eclipse 500 suppliers are walking on eggshells when discussing planned production curbs of the very light jet through mid-2009, but their underlying message is clear: the slowdown will affect their businesses. The subject is so touchy for Eclipse 500 avionics display provider IS&S that it wouldn’t even refer to Eclipse Aviation by name. IS&S CEO Ray Wilson said, “Issues at a major customer have caused orders from this customer to be lower than expected in the fourth quarter and into the second quarter of our 2009 fiscal year. Accordingly, we are reducing our financial targets for the quarter and the year. We are also taking the necessary steps to control costs, including workforce reductions.” In an investor conference call this morning, Wilson said this “major customer” is currently in arrears for shipments made since June and that IS&S has removed all of this customer’s orders from its current backlog. Meanwhile, Hampson Industries confirmed there will be layoffs at its Texas facility that manufactures Eclipse 500 tail assemblies. However, when asked for more details, Hampson told AIN it does not “comment on commercial or operational arrangements concerning relationships with our customers.”