Cirrus Design Corporation announced to its work force on Nov. 25 that aircraft production for the month of December would be significantly reduced. As a result, a number of employees will be furloughed at the company’s Duluth, Minn., and Grand Forks, N.D., facilities.
The Duluth News Tribune is reporting that 335 employees will be laid off in Duluth and about 165 in Grand Forks.
“We are working diligently—and making good progress—on rationalizing inventory levels, retooling the production line for greater product flexibility, and introducing new products such as the new SR20 with Perspective, new options, and features to stimulate demand,” said Cirrus President and Chief Operating Officer Brent Wouters. “Even so, we must make the sometimes difficult tactical decisions to match our overall production to the realities of the current marketplace.”
While production capacity is at lower levels for the interim period, Cirrus said that all other departments—including domestic and international sales, customer service, product assurance, engineering and development, and the Vision Jet program—will continue to operate normally.
To minimize the economic impact on affected employees, Cirrus said it would continue to pay for medical and other key benefits. The company said all furloughed employees would return to work on January 5. Cirrus anticipates robust sales during December and expects to have adequate inventory to fulfill those orders; with the production pause, the company is confident that it will return to more normal production in early January.
“Cirrus is fortunate to be well-positioned competitively, and we see great opportunity as we look further ahead,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alan Klapmeier. “Our focused commitment to the Vision Jet program, ongoing innovation in our piston products, and our flexible lean manufacturing capabilities are just a few reasons for our optimistic view.”