DI­A­MOND SOLD TO WANFENG GROUP OF CHINA

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A year af­ter it ac­quired a 60 per­cent stake in Di­a­mond Air­craft Canada, the Chi­nese Wanfeng Auto Hold­ing Group pur­chased all the as­sets of Di­a­mond Air­craft Group, bring­ing to a close the long­time own­er­ship of the pis­ton-air­craft man­u­fac­turer by the Dries fam­ily, of Aus­tria.

The new own­ers say the move will have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on Di­a­mond’s longterm fu­ture, with plans for in­creased global sales. When it an­nounced last year’s cash in­fu­sion to Di­a­mond, Wanfeng promised glob­ally ex­panded pro­duc­tion, sales and sup­port op­er­a­tions, as well as a stronger fo­cus on the U.S. mar­ket.

“We were at­tracted to Di­a­mond’s lead­er­ship po­si­tion in the mar­ket,” said Bin Chen, chair­man of Wanfeng Avi­a­tion In­dus­try and pres­i­dent of the Wanfeng Auto Hold­ing Group. “Un­der the 25-year lead­er­ship of founder Mr. Chris­tian Dries, the Di­a­mond team has de­vel­oped a broad range of su­perb air­craft that have gained world­wide re­spect for their per­for­mance, ef­fi­ciency, safety and in­no­va­tion. ... We in­tend to take Di­a­mond to a long-term lead­er­ship po­si­tion in world­wide gen­eral avi­a­tion.”

Di­a­mond pro­duces a range of pis­ton air­craft mod­els span­ning the two-seat DA20; four-seat DA40 XLT, Tun­dra and NG; and DA42 and DA62 diesel twins. The com­pany also of­fers spe­cial mis­sion air­craft, and re­cently launched a fam­ily of sin­gle-en­gine DA50 mod­els that are in­tended to be of­fered with a num­ber of power-plant op­tions, in­clud­ing a Ly­coming pis­ton en­gine, Safran-SMA diesel en­gine and Ukrainian-built tur­bo­prop.

“Di­a­mond is my life’s work,” Dries, the for­mer CEO of Di­a­mond Air­craft, said. “In the in­ter­est of a suc­cess­ful longterm fu­ture, we needed to find the right part­ner to con­tinue our good work. Wanfeng and specif­i­cally Mr. Bin Chen share my vi­sion of the fu­ture of gen­eral avi­a­tion and are in­vest­ing for the right rea­sons, with a long-term strat­egy and the re­sources to see their vi­sion through. I look for­ward to see­ing Di­a­mond de­velop fur­ther, and based on our suc­cess­ful year­long part­ner­ship in Di­a­mond Canada I am fully sat­is­fied that I leave Di­a­mond in very good hands.”

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