Blue-sky thinking is encouraged at Cessna Aircraft, one of the most famous names in small planes. A subsidiary of Textron, the company designs and manufactures light and midsize Citation business jets, Caravan utility turboprops (primarily used in the US for overnight express package shipments), and single-engine piston and light lift aircraft. It has delivered more than 200,000 aircraft over the course of more than eight decades in business, making it the world's leading general aviation company by unit sales. In addition to aircraft sales, Cessna's other principal line of business is aftermarket services, including parts, maintenance, inspection, and repair.
Change in Company Type
In March 2014 Textron bought plane maker Beechcraft, a former Cessna rival, and announced it was combining Beechcraft and Cessna into a new segment: Textron Aviation. Cessna and Beechcraft together produced about $4.6 billion in revenues during 2013.
Sales and Marketing
Cessna markets its aircraft worldwide through its own sales force and a network of authorized independent sales representatives. The company has been expanding its worldwide sales force by placing an emphasis on decentralized satellite offices in global markets where Cessna’s presence is well established or where the company sees opportunity for growth.
The company’s revenue decreased by 11% to $2.8 billion in fiscal 2013 from $3.1 billion the previous year. The drop was due to lower Citation jet volume of $384 million and CitationAir volume of $114 million. The company delivered 139 Citation jets in 2013, compared with 181 jets in 2012.
Cessna continues its push into China, signing a joint venture contract with China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) in 2012 to assemble and sell Cessna Citation XLS+ business jets in China to Chinese customers.