Gulfstream To Cut Bizjet Production, 1,200 Workers
Less than 40 days ago, General Dynamics chairman and CEO Nicholas Chabraja said subsidiary Gulfstream was seeing demand for large-cabin jets hold strong, though he acknowledged that sales of its midsize jets had “dramatically softened.” At the time, Chabraja predicted that Gulfstream would deliver 94 large-cabin jets (seven more than last year) but would more than halve midsize shipments to “about 30.” Today his expectations met the reality of the current economy. “As a result of deterioration in the backlog, particularly during the month of February, and continued weak demand, Gulfstream Aerospace has found it necessary to cut large-cabin aircraft production and green aircraft deliveries from a projected rate of 94 to 73 in 2009,” the company said in a statement this morning. “Gulfstream also will reduce production of its midsize aircraft from a projected rate of 30 to 24 aircraft this year.” Gulfstream will also lay off 1,200 workers, 550 of whom are contract employees. “Despite the current challenges, we continue to believe that Gulfstream’s backlog provides a solid foundation for the business in this tough market environment,” Chabraja noted, however.