Cessna Aircraft is adding Yingling Aviation as an authorized dealer, a move that a longtime Wichita Cessna dealer says will put him out of that business.
Yingling will share with Midwest Corporate Aviation Aircraft Sales the single-engine piston aircraft sales territory that covers Kansas except for the Kansas City area.
Steve Dunne, president of Midwest Corporate Aviation Sales, renewed his contract with Cessna for the remainder of the year. But he said sharing a small sales area won't work.
"When you share a territory this small, no money is going to be made between the two dealers, because it starts getting cut-throat," said Dunne, who has had the territory for 12 years.
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Dunne said he will work sales leads for the remainder of the year. He's not yet sure what his next venture will be.
This move will end Dunne's affiliation with Cessna.
"I'll figure out something in the airplane business," he said. "It's just a matter of what."
Dunne said he's competed against Hawker Beechcraft, Cirrus Aircraft, Piper and others for sales.
"We've put more new Cessnas in my territory in Kansas than Beech, Piper, Cirrus and Diamond combined," he said.
Dunne said he's met his sales goals, although the economy has hurt orders in the past couple of years.
He said he also will close the Cessna Pilot Center at Jabara Airport, where Midwest is based, and quit pilot training.
"We had the CPC out here to facilitate the sale of new aircraft," Dunne said.
"We would teach people to fly, and they'd buy new airplanes."
Those currently in flight training will be able to finish, he said.
"We are going to in an orderly fashion start selling off the (three) flight school planes," Dunne said.
For Yingling, becoming a Cessna dealer is a logical move, said company president Lynn Nichols. Yingling has been providing service and maintenance on Cessna aircraft throughout its history, he said.
"This is something we've been discussing with Cessna for years, and I think the time was just right for both of us," Nichols said.
Yingling vice president for customer programs Jerry Pickett will head the effort.
"He's in the process of organizing his marketing and sales plan and organization," Nichols said.
Pickett has an extensive background selling jets, turboprops and single-engine aircraft for Griffith Aviation in Tulsa, Nichols said.
Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver said adding Yingling as a dealer for piston aircraft is a natural extension of the relationship between the companies.
Midwest Corporate Aviation and Yingling are two different types of operations, he said.
"They offer different benefits and services to the customer," he said.