Commentary

June 2009 Issue

Letters: 06/09

I enjoyed your article on four-place cruisers in the March 2009 Aviation Consumer. However, I would like to set the record straight on a couple of points and provide another perspective regarding resale values and what defines "best value." Regarding production volumes of the DA40 versus the SR20, more DA40s have been produced from startup through the end of 2008 than total SR20s through 2008, even though the SR20 has been in production three years longer. Since 2003, the DA40 has outsold the SR20 every year. Here are the statistics to support that. You commented that the purchase price for a comparable used SR20 is generally less than a DA40. As you can see from the numbers above, the higher price of the DA40 cannot be attributed to lower production volume as you supposed as there have been 20 percent more DA40s produced than SR20s. The difference is more likely driven by the marketís acknowledgement that the DA40 is an overall better value than the others, resulting in higher demand. Having an airplane retain more of its original value is hardly a negative. Less depreciation equates to a lower overall cost of ownership as owners recapture a larger proportion of their original investment on sale. This factor is often overlooked by prospective owners when evaluating the true cost of owning an airplane. True value is much more than purchase price. Itís also operating costs, insurance costs, maintenance costs and investment recapture upon sale.

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