Textron Aviation has moved U.S. sales of its piston-engine Beechcraft and Cessna airplanes from an authorized distributor model to a factory-direct one.
“Textron Aviation is focused on developing and building direct long-term relationships with our customers, ensuring they are positioned for success throughout their entire aircraft ownership experience,” Nikki Riemen, spokeswoman for Textron’s piston and defense aircraft, said in a e-mail statement to The Eagle on Wednesday.
Textron officials think the change will improve interaction with its customers, especially feedback from customers about Cessna and Beechcraft planes.
The change is specific to sales of Cessna 172 Skyhawk, 182 Skylane, Turbo Stationair and TTx aircraft as well as Beechcraft Bonanzas and Barons.
The company has bolstered its piston-aircraft sales team as part of the change.
“We have built and are expanding our dedicated team of piston sales experts within the U.S. to assist customers with the aircraft acquisition and ownership experience, as well as to connect customers directly to the engineers and experts who designed and built the aircraft,” Riemen said in the statement.
She said the company would not disclose how many people are on its piston sales team.
What’s not clear is how many factory-authorized dealers were affected by the move. AVweb, an industry online trade publication, characterized it as an “extensive dealer network.”