Boeing Opens First European Factory

Boeing has taken the fight to Airbus, by opening a new factory right on their home turf.

This, of course, is another power move between the two companies, who last month had a scuffle over clients in China.

Where is the new factory?

The 40-million pound Boeing Sheffield plant near Rotherham (in the southern United Kingdom) has a total of 52 employees in its 6,200 square-meter factory

The factory will be manufacturing thousands of components for Boeing 737’s and 767’s, that will be shipped back to the United States for final assembly.

“We appreciate all the community support for Boeing’s new advanced manufacturing factory in the UK. This is a fabulous example of how we are engaging global talent to provide greater value to our customers” – Jenette Ramos, Boeing Senior Vice President of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations.

Why is this significant?

Because the United Kindom is about to leave the European Union in March next year, this will mean that the United States will be able to negotiate much better trade treaties with the former EU member.

They will not be hampered by restrictions or tariffs placed on them by EU states and thus Boeing will be able to make additional savings by employing local talent. This would be without the costs that an EU company, such as Airbus, would have provided.

Plus by having a factory in the EU in the scenario that the UK stays a part of the joint marketplace, they now count as an EU manufacturer and will not be tariffed regardless.

Additionally, this is now placing them with geo-proximity to many of Airbus’s customers.

The United Kingdom has plenty of aerospace talent that will now have two possible big employers, Boeing and Airbus.

“In Boeing Sheffield, we are building on longstanding relationships and the region’s manufacturing expertise to enhance our production system and continue to connect, protect, explore and inspire aerospace innovation,” – Ramos

Airbus has manufacturing facilities in Frace and produces products throughout the EU, but thanks to this move by Boeing, will now have to protect their own talent from being poached. They do have approx 10,000 workers in the United Kingdom alone.

Boeing is also partnering up with the local University of Sheffield, particularly their Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) to guide young graduates in the world of advanced aerospace engineering. This is to take advantage of grants offered by the UK government for innovation.

“We are leading the world in UK aerospace manufacturing and through our modern Industrial Strategy, we, along with industry have committed to invest 3.9 billion pounds in aerospace,” said Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark.

This very well could be a precursor to Boeing moving some actual plane assembly to the United Kindom to really ramp up against Airbus.

Do you think this was a good move by Boeing? Let us know in the comments.