Bell is continuing to see Brazil as a promising market for its helicopters. Earlier this year, Bell logged an order from Brazil air-tour operator, and Bell-certified service center, Helisul Táxi Aéreo for its 505 Jet Ranger X light single. One of the 505s delivered to Helisul is on display at LABACE this year.
“The 505 is perfect timing for us. We have our first couple that have been delivered there and they are performing well,” said Nicholas Peffer, managing director of Latin America for Bell. “The 505 price point in the short-light single market is huge in Brazil. We’ve returned to that market and it’s spectacular. The timing is right for us to be back down there as we look at volatility and exchange.”
Peffer said the market in Brazil has been slightly subdued recently as a result of political uncertainties but the market is still an important focus for Bell. “The presidential election coming up in October is a big factor. The market is kind of in a recession but it’s still a very large market we continue to focus on,” he said.
Bell also expects the 429 and 525 helicopters to be useful in the Brazilian market. “The 429 market, the light twin, is also a very good market for us down there. It has the right niche at the right price point and the performance and safety is outstanding on that aircraft,” said Peffer. “The other big side of Brazil is the offshore market. Oil and gas worldwide has been a little depressed, and nothing is different in Brazil, but we are seeing a possibility for recovery here in the next short while. The thought is that the 525 will be very well positioned for that market recovery.”
Peffer noted Bell has a sales and support team based in Brazil. Bell is continuing to develop a more streamlined product support experience for customers after the reorganization of the company’s commercial business began earlier this year. “The focus was to break down the silos inside of Bell and have one commercial organization and get rid of those walls that were impeding communication between ourselves as well as what is going on in the marketplace,” said Jay Ortiz, vice president, the Americas for Bell.
Bell intends for the reorganization to result in higher levels of integration, network partnership, and customer satisfaction within the marketplace. “We’re in the process of putting the organization together, working through our concept of operations, and understanding how we are actually going to make all the pieces work together and integrate. The technology behind it in terms of communication, the customer portal, and customer experience is all behind the scenes and being put in place in lockstep. We’re meshing what our end state is from a technology standpoint with how we want to work it from a customer-facing standpoint,” said Ortiz.
Bell will consolidate customer feedback data through features including chat rooms where customers will be able to log in and share their input. “Between everyone working together and the investment Bell is making in the technology of systems to make sure we have visibility, at the end of the day the customer will know they have someone following up to solve their case,” said Ortiz.