Boeing will buy out Vought Aircraft’s share of a joint
venture with Alenia Aeronautica
to build aft fuselage structures for the 787.
The deal means Global Aeronautica
will become an equal joint venture between Boeing and Alenia,
while Vought will continue to be a structural supplier in the 787 programme.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“All three partners in this transaction -- Boeing, Vought
and Alenia -- believe these changes will enable the
787 team to continue to overcome supply-chain challenges of the program,” Pat
Shanahan, Boeing VP and general manager of the 787 programme, says in a
The move is the first major shakeup
for one Boeing’s major 787
suppliers in the wake of an at least eight month delay for first
delivery. Breakdowns in the 787’s global supply chain have been blamed as a
primary cause of the delay, along with a shortage of fasteners.
Global Aeronautica is based in Charleston, South
Carolina, and is located directly adjacent to
Vought’s aft fuselage assembly facility. Vought’s work on the aft fuselage
section will continue.
“Selling our interest has no impact on our adjacent
facility,” says Vought CEO Elmer Doty.
Last October, Doty acknowledged that Vought was the highest-risk
supplier on the 787 industry team. At the time, Doty attributed Vought’s
struggles to an internal liquidity crisis in 2006 that prevented the company
from ramping up investment in the 787 programme at a sufficient rate.
Boeing had previously appointed VP Scott Strode to take over
management responsibility for Vought’s role in the 787 programme.