As part of Boeing international expansion plan (or world domination plan), they have started opening up factories outside the US in profitable regions to try and meet their incredible demand. This mirrors the attempts by Airbus to expand into foreign markets (like the USA).
One such factory that has started to bear fruit is 737 Completion and Delivery Center in Zhoushan, China, who over the weekend delivered its first 737.
Delivery of the first Boeing 737 MAX 8
The joint Boeing-COMAC facility has been designed as a completion center, with the planes themselves starting construction thousands of miles away in the US. The planes start as shells months earlier and are made flight ready in Seattle before flying to China for interior fitting (depending on the client).
This first Beoung 737 MAX 8 has been completed for Air China. The 737 MAX 8 is, of course, the ill-fated plane involved in the Lion Air disaster.
“This moment signifies our growing partnership with China that stretches back over nearly half a century, we’re proud of our long relationship with the Chinese government, airlines and industry partners and the trust they place in Boeing.” – Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Kevin McAllister.
The factory itself is comprised of a factory floor that can fit 737 planes with various interiors, three paint hangers, and a Boeing delivery center where they can control product quality and hand over the finished jets to clients.
The factory has 666,000 sq ft in total and is designed to support the entire 737 MAX family of airplanes, from the long-range MAX 7 to the high-capacity MAX 10.
China is an especially important customer for Boeing, as around 1/3 of all new plane orders for the company end up with Chinese Airlines. Having a location in China that allows them to speed up delivery, and offer maintenance on their latest aircraft will be a boon for the company. Boeing predicts that China will require 7,680 planes over the next 20 years, and wants to be well positioned to meet that demand.
This news also comes at the surprising easing of tensions between China and the US, as they fight in a global tariff war.
“Congratulations to Boeing for delivering the first 737 MAX from Zhoushan, this is a significant milestone of Boeing’s efforts to deepen its footprint in China, as well as to support the growth of China’s airline industry, opening an era of the collaboration between the two airplane manufacturers of us.” – Zhao Yuerang, president of COMAC. “
It is also believed that this factory will not cut jobs from American sites, but actually increase the overall Boeing workforce. Logistically more workers will be required for transport, production, and management.
What do you think of this factory opening? Is it a good thing for Boeing?