DIAMOND SOLD TO WANFENG GROUP OF CHINA
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.”