French drone bods Parrot wheel out 'prosumer' division
If you can afford to spend $5k on a camera drone, they want to be your go-to folk
French professional drone firm Parrot says it will expand into the "prosumer" market – after laying off almost 300 staff and abandoning the consumer market.
The new Parrot Professional business unit will offer drones priced between $1,000 and $5,000, according to Recode, as opposed to its usual offerings of around $11,000.
Targeted at use cases such as agriculture, mapping and external inspection, Parrot hopes its new division will perform better than its consumer division, which reportedly contributed to the firm missing its Q4 FY 2016 sales estimates by 15 per cent.
"Parrot has identified commercial activities where its drones – proposed with a complete solution – are focused on providing efficiency and knowledge to save time, perform better and generate more revenue/business," said the firm in a canned statement announcing the changes.
Its "end-to-end professional UAV solutions" will come bundled with sensors, software and services, it says, in a transparent play to capture more market share from Chinese drone monolith DJI.
In January Parrot laid off 290 people in its consumer division, including 150 jobs cut in France where the company is headquartered, following the unexpected slump in sales during 2016. At the time Parrot insisted it was "in a healthy financial position and will be able to finance its efforts to re-establish its operating balance and continue moving forward with its investments in a booming civil drone sector."
The company said it reckons it can grow its drone division by 10 per cent this year. ®