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Wingnut Wings Closing Down

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Nick:
Rumours are abundant on the internet that Wingnut Wings may be in serious financial trouble. With the global virus lockdown, their production line being in China, and the ban on sending post out of NZ Wingnut have had to close their doors temporarily. http://www.wingnutwings.com/ww/news
How long they can survive for without orders is the question. They are also a very very niche market that may be sold out.

An email has emerged from their General Manager, Richard Alexander stating "Nothing is finalized yet but it looks pretty grim. Very sad. I hope you understand that I have nothing else I can say at this time."

Peter Jackson should be able to back it up as he is the founder but he may not wish or be able to following the fraud situation from last year where Vintage Aviator had to shut down following the loss of $645,000. There are already rumblings in NZ about the amount of annual subsidy Peter Jackson's companies get - NZ $41m every year.

Nick:
It has been announced on social media and various forums that Wingnut Wings and The Vintage Aviator are to close down and end production. This has yet to appear on the company websites.
Vintage Aviator build replica WW1 aircraft and props for movies.

From WW1 Models forum at https://forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com/index.php?topic=11013.0
Sad news from New Zealand today indicates Wingnut Wings has been closed down permanently and its assets are to be sold off.

Details are yet to be publicly disclosed but it’s understood staff have been informed they no longer have jobs at Wingnuts, and all assets- the moulds etc- are to be disposed of.

Wingnuts, which was begun by Sir Peter Jackson in 2009, has like many NZ businesses been locked down recently due to the coronavirus shutdowns there.

The business issues affecting the decision to close the business permanently are not yet known but are not thought to be entirely due to the Covid 19 issue.

The Forum contacted Wingnuts’ General Manager, Richard Alexander yesterday and sought comment. He responded that an official statement would be forthcoming.

When we approached him today on this matter, the email diverted to a message referring all future Wingnut Wings matters to Clare Olssen and Kate Leppard.

Clare Olssen is Chief Executive Officer of WingNut Films and Kate Leppard is the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

We sought official comment from Clare Olssen and Kate Leppard. We asked about the status of the Wingnut Wings business, the employment status of staff and the situation re pending mail orders in their system.

There has been no response from the designated contacts for Wingnut Wings. Significantly Richard’s name now no longer appears on replies from his official email address.

Update: late today Richard Alexander confirmed to the Forum that he is no longer at Wingnut Wings. Asked about the situation there he said "I am not able to comment at this time".

The Wingnuts website is still active and accepting online orders however due to the uncertainty about the company’s status now, it is suggested Forum members consider whether to place any further orders with their online store until the company officially clarifies the status of its current pending orders.

It’s understood there are also major job cuts at the Vintage Aviator (TVAL) too with all aircraft production stopped, most staff made redundant and the company retrenched to a maintenance team for the existing aircraft collection.

Sir Peter Jackson has made no comment on the closure decisions.

PR19_Kit:
All very sad, although not in my modelling area but...……..

Why all the secrecy? Situations like this produce the 'commercial confidence' phrase time and again, but what about the confidence of customers, either ones who've paid up, or ones who are about to?

NARSES2:

--- Quote from: PR19_Kit on April 16, 2020, 09:43:48 am ---All very sad, although not in my modelling area but...……..

Why all the secrecy?

--- End quote ---

Probably legal issues and the lawyers are almost certainly involved. Also you get situations where the people left to run the business on a day to day basis (and there is stuff that needs doing even in these situations) either don't have the legal authority to answer  questions or don't have the confidence.

Number of times it happened in the Steel Industry and the only way to find out what was going on was to take the people down the pub  :rolleyes: Off the record of course  ;)

Still all very sad and it will be interesting to see where the moulds end up.

NARSES2:
There's stuff floating around purportedly from Wingnut that this is a temporary closure caused by the Covid 19 situation.

To be honest I'll just wait and see, although I'm not starting the two un-built Wingnut kits in the stash (I've another part started) just in case they leap in value  ;)

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