Mooney appears to be in big trouble

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Topaz, Jan 9, 2020.

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  1. Jan 9, 2020 #1

    Topaz

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  2. Jan 9, 2020 #2

    TFF

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    I had heard about the furlough. That just is icing on the cake. I wonder if it will be sold or China box everything up and take it home?
     
  3. Jan 9, 2020 #3

    plncraze

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    Is this like when Japan bought Rockefeller Center? I still can't figure out why anyone would buy Mooney unless they were passionate enough to make less money than a typical capital intensive investment.
     
  4. Jan 9, 2020 #4

    rc-rotorhead

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    This isn't the first time extended furloughs have happened. My dad worked there in the 80's when they would pump out an aircraft a week. I remember a couple of those dark times too.
     
  5. Jan 9, 2020 #5

    Victor Bravo

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    Trying to stay away from the specific political angle, and address why the Chinese would buy a troubled US company.

    A foreign owned business operating in the US provides for a certain number of foreign nationals to acquire work visas and gain entry into the US. So if they buy a company that has 200 employees, and they replace some number of domestic employees with Chinese employees, the Chinese employees can come here legally instead of illegally.

    They get a work visa, and by the way they sign up for benefits, services, health care, etc. Any children born here become "anchor babies" and get all sorts of additional benefits, food, health care for the baby, etc.

    When the Chinese owners of the company furlough them, they get US taxpayer funded unemployment, welfare, food stamps, and probably a free cell phone.

    Then after a while some of those folks go out and get jobs in other companies, now able to say they had worked for Mooney Aircraft, and are hired at aerospace and defense companies in the US.

    Nothing to see here, folks, no security risk, no industrial espionage, no economic warfare... just move along and buy your imported goods at Wal Mart.
     
    jedi, Pops and Hephaestus like this.
  6. Jan 9, 2020 #6

    TFF

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    I think China has owned Mooney for close to 10 years. China is aviation lacking. They are trying to fast track assets. These small companies are relatively cheap when you consider the Chinese government buys through government owned companies. The brand helicopters I work on was bought by China about 5 years ago. For the last year or so one of the ex executives has worked in the same company as me. He spent 6 month a year in China. Very hard to explain how it all works and who is on the hook. It does not work like the Western world but has a face so it looks like it does. My opinion, because they are having a downturn in their economy, they are pulling back the subsidizing money.
     
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  7. Jan 9, 2020 #7

    Topaz

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    I'm just sorry to see the brand go down, again, maybe for good this time. However, their utter lack of innovation for decades plays a big part in that. Just changing the instrument stack isn't "innovation."

    I feel badly for the workers. They're really getting whipsawed here, and you'll note that the company not only furloughed them over the holidays, but revoked their holiday pay as well. That's just low.
     
    rc-rotorhead likes this.
  8. Jan 9, 2020 #8

    Hephaestus

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    Mooney's been cyclical since it's inception...

    I'm just doing the happy dance that currently I have no parts on order/backorder! :beer:
     
  9. Jan 9, 2020 #9

    BoKu

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  10. Jan 9, 2020 #10

    Topaz

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    Interesting. I hadn't heard about that one. I wonder why they abandoned the project?
     
  11. Jan 9, 2020 #11

    TerryM76

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    I certainly do feel for them having been furloughed twice during the holidays, once in 1983 and later in 1995...I got out of aviation for a short period as a result of the 1995 episode and went into automotive manufacturing technical support.....in 5 years time, earned a Masters from Embry-Riddle (paid tuition), a pension and a 401K......thank you TRW!
     
    Topaz likes this.
  12. Jan 9, 2020 #12

    TFF

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    The business model at the helicopter company was for China to buy excess production and they would sell them to the local market. They built one in country so it could be called China made. The problem with small aircraft is buyers. No private pilots. So no personal flying like we are use to. One went to some billionaire’s daughter who had it painted pink to match her Ferrari. No one to fly it but it looks good in pictures.

    The Chinese market is not set up for anything less than ten seats and 1000 mile destinations. They need to move by air but they don’t want you to go flying around. Small aircraft are for training. They want mid size people movers. Big cities are so far apart that some places you can’t drive. Fly over mountain or nothing. It’s going to be 1000 miles to the next fuel stop. No I need to go pee let’s stop. 500 mile leg plane there is worthless, until they build some airports between destinations.

    What happens is these aviation companies are cheap. Just pretend numbers. Let’s say the buy Mooney for $10 million. Then they give them ten more for improvements. Mooney is still Mooney and the USA is still the USA. That money drains fast trying to make improvements that are thirty years overdue. $20 million is a bet to a government or Michael Jordan. If it fails, move to the next bet. They build office parks the size of cities on a whim. The companies I know off the top of my head are Mooney, Continental, Kelly aerospace( now hartzell), Cirrus,Enstrom, Brantley. There are more. It’s a good strategy. They can shut them down just to cause low level chaos if they want.
     
  13. Jan 9, 2020 #13

    Topaz

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    Let's stay on-topic and off the pros and cons of business in China, please. And I say that as both a moderator and the OP. Thank you.
     
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  14. Jan 9, 2020 #14

    D Hillberg

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    Brantley was hosed and all 80 odd owners who had one. the PC & TC were surrendered by the Bell VP who ran the company.
    No Production cert No type cert and the "drones" they made was one. the only thing flying in china was cash down the drain.

    Dennis Fetters (Mini 500) made drones too-

    Commercial Helicopter pilots are around 1,000. Many trained in the USA.
    Met a few.... They missed flying in the US (less BS from the government)
    Lots of US products buzzing around Beijing
     
  15. Jan 9, 2020 #15

    BBerson

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    I flew over the factory in 1993. Seemed odd, out in the middle of nowhere.
     
  16. Jan 10, 2020 #16

    bmcj

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    I’m not sure why this is is just coming up now. I saw the news about them shuttering their doors and ceasing operation maybe a month ago.
     
  17. Jan 10, 2020 #17

    TarDevil

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    Then opened, then closed again.
     
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  18. Jan 10, 2020 #18

    Rik-

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    How many believe that this is due to the fact that they are trying to sell the same exact plane that they've been making for the past 20 years with no improvements and at a rate that is at the top of the market for piston singles?

    They did make the twin door trainer that never went anywhere. I believe that it was being designed/made at their Chino CA location.

    It's just a matter of to much for to little and to old.

    Possibly it's a good parts business but even VW quit making the beetle eventually.
     
    litespeed likes this.
  19. Jan 11, 2020 #19

    BJC

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    GAMA reported that, in 2018, 14 Mooneys, 15 Bonanzas, and 380 Cirrus piston singles were sold.

    “There’s your sign.”


    BJC
     
    Topaz likes this.
  20. Jan 11, 2020 #20

    Toobuilder

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    They still produce the fastest piston single you can buy, and the handling characteristics are among the best in class. They are a **** fine airplane with a very distinct reputation as the "exotic" among lessor breeds.

    Piper is reintroducing the PA-28 as a brand new airplane for the new breed of pilots. If that's not kicking a dead horse, I'm not sure what is.

    Mooney is **** expensive though. If anything, the innovation should work on reducing production cost (and price). Clearly, the market does not assign value to the brand.

    Mooney is to Cirrus what Porsche is to Camry... Tough sell when the market is soccer moms
     
    dragon2knight, jedi, TarDevil and 3 others like this.

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