Rolls-Royce is to assemble engines in Singapore and a new site in the USA, in part to be closer to its customers and in part to reduce its exposure to the dollar. It is interesting to see the US, where the domestic industry is fiercely criticised for outsourcing, become a preferred location for “insourcing”.
Rolls plans to assemble its new RB282 twin-shaft engine at a new facility in Virginia (and not far from the nation’s capital), even though development is under way in the UK and the launch application is a French business jet. The reason is that North America is the biggest producer and consumer of business jets.
There is definitely an insourcing trend under way. Some of it is European manufacturers moving work to the US to win US government contracts (assembling Eurocopter EC120s and EC145s in Mississippi, for example). But as the dollar falls against the euro and the pound, there is an increasing economic rationale for moving work across the Atlantic.
At some point the value of work insourced from Europe could become a significant factor in the US aerospace industry’s performance. The political implications of that would be interesting to see.