6-Feb-2015 Source: HeliHub.com
After a level 2013 (over 2012) and a bumper 45% increase in 2012 production over 2011, Robinson production sunk in 2014. Robinson Helicopter’s production for 2014 was 329 helicopters – 101 R66s, 186 R44s and 42 R22s, a huge 37% drop compared to 2013’s production of 523. Looking at each model, the R22 production was level, R44 36% down and R66 47% down. That said, 2014 production was still more than double the total in 2010 at the depth of the global recession.
The R66 figure is particularly surprising, given the very belated EASA type certification being issued in early May 2014. With a notable increase in orders in Europe (a few N-reg examples had been circulating pre-certification), we can only assume that orders from other parts of the world have fallen off a cliff. Two countries in particular are notable here. Russia’s economic problems have hit imports of new helicopters from all manufacturers, while orders from Brazil have also seen a big slow-down, and our research can only track 4 deliveries in the last 12 months against an average of 30 per annum in the four years prior to that.
The R44 market has dipped, and we see that partly due to the EASA certification of the R66 – the majority of EASA R66 buyers are upgrading from R44s, which then puts a lot of relatively low hour R44s on the pre-owned market, which in turn soak up potential sales of new aircraft.
Projected lead times for each model suggest either a very slow production line, or a recent increase in orders. Two weeks ago, Robinson were quoting the following ex factory dates for new orders, based on current production rates and are subject to change:-
John Burcote – HeliHub.com
Peak year to date was 2008 with 893 deliveries