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Thursday, February 24, 2011

How Embraer Customers Can Save a Trip to Brazil

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Embraer customers will soon be able to take delivery of their business aircraft right here in the United States at a new Customer Center that will form Phase II of Embraer's new U.S. headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. If all goes well, the facility will open next to the already completed Phenom Final Assembly Facility for initial deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2011. In addition, sales and marketing people with offices in Fort Lauderdale will be moving into the new space upon completion. Only the paint shop awaits completion, scheduled for March.

Although the final assembly facility will deal initially with Phenom 100s exclusively, the Phenom 300 will also be in the mix at some future date. First deliveries should take place in 4Q 2011, with one aircraft this year, 30 in 2012, and 60 in 2013. The ultimate build rate will be eight per month, with hopes that sales justify going higher.

The marketing activities at the new Customer Center are not limited to Phenoms.  Prospective Embraer owners can visit the center to spec out their aircraft and to take delivery of any and all business aircraft models Embraer produces. It will be Embraer's only Customer Center in the world when it is completed. The company also has three U.S. service centers in Connecticut, Fort Lauderdale and Mesa, Ariz.

Delivery centers are the final stage in marketing aircraft and have been part of the process since the eaarly days of Learjet. Bill Lear's customers arrived in an opulent setting, their aircraft at center stage and bathed in lights. Arrayed on a carpeted platform were the accessories--everything from tow bars to tie tacks--in lustrous chrome that caught the light like so many gems. The strokes Embraer employs to massage its customers have yet to evolve, but at least now they have a place to do it.

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