Falcon Fortunes Mixed, But Good Overall
The market for Dassault Aviation’s Falcons is “still convalescent,” according to CEO Eric Trappier. Speaking at the company’s press conference in March, Trappier gave details on its performance in 2012 and delivered a conservative market outlook. In April, at the ABACE show in Shanghai, Dassault Falcon Jet CEO John Rosanvallon expressed confidence in Asian sales growth.
Last year, Dassault handed over 66 Falcons, up from 63 the year before, and accounting for €2.8 billion ($3.6 billion) of revenues. Deliveries should increase to “around 70 Falcons” this year, he said. He also noted that last year, Falcon salespeople took orders for 58 business jets (representing €2.5 billion or $3.3 billion), a notable increase from 2011’s 36.
Trappier said he still hopes for a recovery, especially in the U.S. Some regions, such as South America, Russia and Northern Europe, are deemed “very active.” Meanwhile, India is “very quiet” and China is “a bit less active than it used to be,” he said. Nevertheless, China is now the second largest market for the top-of-the-range Falcon 7X, behind the U.S., he claimed.Dassault expects to deliver about 10 Falcon 7Xs in China this year. “In 2013, the market in China remains dynamic and continues to flourish. Our industry and Chinese authorities have formed a healthy relationship that will assure growth in the years to come,” Rosanvallon said. Keeping bullish, he added, “There are ambitious programs in place to improve infrastructure throughout the country.”
Dassault has three sales offices in China–Beijing, Shanghai and HongKong–where it has two types of customers, according to Rosanvallon. “Large organizations, such as Minsheng Bank and ABC Bank, the second largest bank in China, which usually buy a fleet to sell to their customers with the help of the OEM, and the second market, which is all the successfulentrepreneurs.”
At the end of this year, Rosanvallon expects that his company will have more than 20 Falcon 7Xs in Hong Kong and mainland China. Dassault Falcon’s market share in the Asia Pacific region (not including India) was estimated just over 30 percent for 2011-2012.