Is Boeing getting ready to buy the last 50% of Global Aeronautica?

Charleston is abuzz once again that Boeing might be getting ready to buy the last 50% of Global Aeronautica from Alenia. 

Multiple program sources report that a 6:15 AM ET all-hands meeting is planned for an undisclosed purpose tomorrow morning for the 3rd and 1st shifts working at Boeing Charleston and Global Aeronautica.

While no agenda has been disclosed for the meeting, all signs point to a potential announcement of an acquisition by Boeing of the final 50% of the North Charleston facility.

Could we see simultaneous releases tomorrow morning on a Global Aeronautica deal, as well as the first flight of ZA002?

I asked Pat Shanahan, vice president of airplane programs, last Tuesday if he was content with the 50-50 model for sharing ownership with Alenia. His reply:
“Operationally there’s no division, it’s pretty seamless so we work very collaboratively, and with our experience people really line up as a team…people don’t look at who owns what make sure they have a vote,” he replied.
Global Aeronautica is responsible for the integration of the 787′s center fuselage sections. Alenia fabricates Sections 44 and 46 in Grottalie, Italy, while Kawasaki and Fuji Heavy Industries are responsible for Sections 43 an 45/11, respectively, with both built in Nagoya Japan.

Once integrated, the structures are shipped via the Dreamlifter to Everett for final assembly.

Boeing first purchased Vought’s 50% share in Global Aeronautica back in March of 2008 after the airframer moved to increase oversight at the North Charleston facility. 
The company has slowly expanded its ownership of the site, later purchasing Vought’s aft fuselage facility in July raising the total share of ownership of the site to 75%. 
Finally, in October, Boeing selected North Charleston as the site of the second 787 final assembly line. 
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what materializes. 

9 Responses to Is Boeing getting ready to buy the last 50% of Global Aeronautica?

  1. WingBender December 21, 2009 at 6:51 pm #

    Boeing is doing some last-minute Christmas shopping I guess.

  2. WingBender December 21, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    All your factory are belong to us.

  3. trb December 21, 2009 at 9:38 pm #

    I learn more about the company I work for from this site, then from my employer? Thanks, Jon. :)

    Actually, this wouldn’t surprise me. It does make sense. Buying the rest of the place means you can now use the full workforce doing the fuselage integration to build up the new line. Could they use the experienced Global Aeronautica/Alenia employees on the Boeing owned line any other way?

    The only thing that I question is… I thought we had a cash flow issue due to the delays.

  4. Bo December 22, 2009 at 5:06 am #

    “All your factory are belong to us.”

    Haha…Nice

    Someone set us up the Bom

  5. Beoing Investor December 22, 2009 at 6:18 am #

    Makes sense. They are trying to gain better control of the 787 production process and this will consolidate their ability to manage

  6. Trebuchet December 22, 2009 at 6:59 am #

    Confirmed on Boeing’s internal website. Kind of a slap in the face to long term manufacturing employees at Boeing’s legacy sites, but also a repudiation of the original 787 strategy under which Boeing was going to build no part of the airplane, even to the extent of selling the BCA Wichita facility.

  7. Shlomo December 22, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    @Trebuchet: “a slap in the face to long term manufacturing employees at Boeing’s legacy sites”
    Oh, you mean the ones who walked out for almost 2 months last year from the jobs they are being well paid to do? That labor action has resulted in exactly the opposite effect from what they wanted. Boeing leadership is now doing whatever they can to avoid getting burned like that again. More proof of how short-sighted unions are. The IAM should not be surprised that jobs are going elsewhere.

  8. seffsmiff December 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    If Boeing really hates the Union, they should pay the workers in SC a great salary for the work they will undertake. Better yet, the company should show that they are willing to pay them even more with great benefits (equal or better than the unions negotiated benefits) As for 2 months of set back…come one, that time had no effect on the delay…Actually, reworking all the problems from the “now purchased companies” had more of an adverse effect than a labor dispute.

    Folks that continue to focus on the “Strike” really only look at the issue one sided. Nobody mentions the union was about to extend the contract 8 years to keep the second line in Everett, but the move had already been planned months ago; maybe even years and when it was proposed, the company says thanks but we’ve made a decison.. It all comes down to money, the select few in our society make the money for themselves and forget about the people who make it all happen.

    Maybe once everything that could possibly be manufactured is made in China, maybe then people will start to rally against it. Before you know it all we’ll have in the USA for jobs are fast food joints and Bikini Barista stands ;-)

    If you add the days for the delay up; 2 year delay, 365 + 365 + 57 day strike = 787! WTF is up with that.

  9. denny December 29, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    Unions are dying but not fast enough