Van’s Aircraft has long been known for providing excellent aircraft kits at an affordable price. Over the past few years, the cost of producing airplane kits has soared substantially. Candidly, due to a number of factors we found ourselves operating the business at a loss. Thus, to continue providing the best possible airplane designs and kits, we must increase our prices.
Following an intensive internal assessment and cost review, we are increasing most of our kit prices by approximately 32%. Our online order forms will be updated this weekend with the new kit prices. Prices of individual parts and components will also be increasing, some more than 32%, and others less. While these price changes are significant, they are also necessary. Based upon our review of competitive products, even with these changes Van’s continues to be the value and performance leader in light aircraft manufacturing.
In conjunction with these price changes, Van’s has also instituted new policies related to how we package and sell our kits. Moving forward, Van’s is standardizing our kit offerings. We have reviewed what is included (or not included) in each kit and made a number of changes. In addition, we are implementing a no-deletions policy and revising our kit deposit terms and payment schedule.
The changes to our kit prices and policies apply to new orders, as well as orders that were placed before the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Van’s will soon communicate with customers who had unfulfilled, open orders about these changes, and give them an opportunity to review our modification to their previous order(s) and to accept the new terms, conditions, and pricing.
Some key changes that we would like to highlight:
Deletion or Addition of Parts from Kits
Van’s will no longer allow the deletion or addition of parts to empennage/tail, wing, fuselage, and finish kits. Historically, Van’s allowed customers to make numerous additions, deletions, modifications, and customizations to each kit order (whether a standard or quick build kit). This led to a substantial variance in the number of kits that could be picked, crated, and shipped per day, which ultimately impacted our purchasing, planning, costs, and revenue. Thus, we can no longer continue these practices. Please note that many kits have several options which can be selected on the kit order forms. You can, of course, choose from those options; however, Van’s will no longer allow deletions of individual parts or additions of extra parts in a kit shipment. Customers can always order any additional parts/items they need via our web store or by phone; however, these orders will be packaged and shipped separately from the crated kit. Again, these changes are necessary for efficient warehouse operations and will help ensure that Van’s can deliver kits and parts to all customers in a timely and cost-effective manner.
New Deposit Terms and Schedule
Moving forward for new kit orders, a deposit equal to 35% of the order amount must be received to complete any kit, engine, or propeller order. Until Van’s has received this deposit, an order is considered pending. If Van’s has not received a deposit within 14 days of an order being submitted, the pending order will be canceled without further notice. (Note: Customers who purchase parts or kits from Van’s will need to review, sign, and return our current purchase contract and waiver and release of liability agreements. Van’s must have these on file prior to placing a pending order, or shipping any kits or parts.)
New Customer Deposit Account
Deposits received for kits will be held in our newly established customer deposit account, which is not used for Van’s general operating expenses. Your kit deposit will remain in the customer deposit account until we start to manufacture, source, and or assemble the components of your kit. At that time, we will send you a “Notice of Production Commencement” and thereafter, we will move your deposit from the customer deposit account into Van’s operating account. Approximately 60 days before we crate your kit, we will contact you to let you know that you are within our “Kit Crating Window” and you will be given 14 days to submit the remaining balance due for your order. More details on the timing of deposits and payments are set forth in the purchase agreement that you will need to sign as part of placing your order.
- You order an RV wing kit for $18,500. To complete your order, you remit a deposit of $6,475 (35% of the order amount) and sign and submit the required agreements and documents, all of which Van’s receives within 14 days. Your funds are held in the customer deposit account. When receive your “Notice of Production Commencement” your deposit is placed into Van’s operating account. Approximately 60 days before we start crating your kit, we will contact you and request the balance due of $12,025, which must be received within 14 days. (For orders where taxes are due at the time of the sale, the balance will also reflect the tax amount.)
The goal of implementing these changes is to improve Van’s for both its customers and employees. We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing our mission to provide incredible, achievable, total-performance airplane kits – and helping you fulfill your goal of building and flying the airplane of your dreams.