inconel
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Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:45 pm

While a lot of people are still wondering whether/when China will emerge as an aviation powerhouse, could a completely unexpected trend be occurring under our noses: relegation of North American control of the narrow-body market to a fraction of what it was.

October 2017: announced that Airbus will take a 50.01% stake in the C-Series. Rebranded as A220, future developments, e.g. whether to launch A220-500 will be decided in Toulouse.

March 2019: Boeing 737 Max grounded. In the hands of regulators.

June 2019: Announcement that Bombardier CRJ program sold to Mitsubishi. Passing into Japanese control.

Now if the 737 MAX is fixed and re-enters service in the coming months, then the above hypothesis will be falsified.

But if the MAX requires hardware changes which in turn lead to a multi-year grounding (and we'll probably find out within months), then I think the 6-decade North American dominance/major control of the narrow-body market is on the line. Not just because the MAX is out, but it will be out in a way which will seriously tie up Boeing resources while Airbus would be free to ramp up production.

Look, this could all amount to nothing, and soon. But on the other hand it might be an emerging trend, and if so, much sooner and more unexpected than conventional wisdom would have dictated.
 
mwhcvt
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:18 pm

That’s certainly the darkest outlook on it, if and it’s a big if the MAX sees a grounding running well into 2020 then I think you’ll see more customers demanding Boeing get the plans finalised on an all new design and the existing MAX operators get solid deals on conversions or new orders, I think you’ll see more of the less invested airlines seriously looking towards the Airbus offering

I’d hope that in the last six months Boeing will have had not just software engineers working on the max but also other engineering teams working on possible hardware solutions should the be needed, so that if it comes to it a significant portion of the works has already been done towards that fix route

I foresee Airbus increasing production in the coming years but not massively as theres a big risk to a massive increase, but IIRC both the Tianjin and Mobile FALs were build to be 8/month lines and both currently only do 4/month, so I could see both these lines being used to give a small bump to production

Same goes for the A220 line I’d really not see any serious development there besides getting production efficiently running until Airbus has full control I don’t see them doing any lineup developments especially not an all new larger version
Must think up a new one soon, slow moving brain trying to get into gear ;)
 
Weatherwatcher1
Posts: 177
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:47 pm

I don’t think Bombardier exciting commercial aviation is connected to the 737MAX. Bombardier has been struggling for years.
 
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PacoMartin
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:04 pm

inconel wrote:
I think the 6-decade North American dominance/major control of the narrow-body market is on the line. Not just because the MAX is out, but it will be out in a way which will seriously tie up Boeing resources while Airbus would be free to ramp up production.


I think that decision to relinquish dominance was made in August 2011 when Boeing announced the MAX. Basically, the A320neo and the MAX-8 will remain roughly on equal production, but the A321neo will almost certainly outsell the stretched MAX-9 and MAX-10.

That was more or less true from 2001 when the B757 stopped taking orders until 2010. The B737-900/900ER never got close to orders or deliveries of the A321ceo.

I imagine when Boeing announced the MAX line and the decision to postpone a new model, that champagne corks were popping at Airbus.
 
SteelChair
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:07 pm

Avaition is a subset of total manufacturing, which continues to off shore. Wall street types see employees only as liabilities and don't want manufactuing in "high wage" countries like the USA.
 
Bobloblaw
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:20 pm

The flaw your theory is this statement:

“Airbus would be free to ramp up production”

They aren’t unless they are willing to invest tens of billions in new production facilities for narrowbody aircraft for something that may well be temporary.

I don’t think a.netters really understand the complexities of making civilian commercial aircraft. Those who say that Boeing should have made a clean sheet aircraft are equally underestimating the complexities of building a brand new plane.

In 2011, Boeing had just finished the 787 programmer which was the most expensive and complex aircraft programmed in history. On top of that oil prices has risen from under $50 to over $100 per barrel and it certainly seemed like $100 plus oil was the new normal in 2011. Should Boeing spend at least as much as they did on the 787 programme for a new natrowbody that won’t be available until the late 2010s or early 2020s or should they update an existing model? What if oil had moved upwards to $150 per barrel by 2015 and Boeing had nothing to offer until 2020? Think anyone would wait around for Boeing’s new planes? Then Airbus would have had an incentive to increase productive capacity. Where as now they have less incentive.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:38 pm

Bobloblaw wrote:
The flaw your theory is this statement:

“Airbus would be free to ramp up production”

They aren’t unless they are willing to invest tens of billions in new production facilities for narrowbody aircraft for something that may well be temporary.

I don’t think a.netters really understand the complexities of making civilian commercial aircraft. Those who say that Boeing should have made a clean sheet aircraft are equally underestimating the complexities of building a brand new plane.

In 2011, Boeing had just finished the 787 programmer which was the most expensive and complex aircraft programmed in history. On top of that oil prices has risen from under $50 to over $100 per barrel and it certainly seemed like $100 plus oil was the new normal in 2011. Should Boeing spend at least as much as they did on the 787 programme for a new natrowbody that won’t be available until the late 2010s or early 2020s or should they update an existing model? What if oil had moved upwards to $150 per barrel by 2015 and Boeing had nothing to offer until 2020? Think anyone would wait around for Boeing’s new planes? Then Airbus would have had an incentive to increase productive capacity. Where as now they have less incentive.

It is not just the aircraft, it is the engine.

A next generation of engine requires new CMC foundries on a mass scale. It will take the tens of billions for a new aircraft and a minimum of 8 years to enter service.

Airbus is doing well, they do need to expand production, but do so in a way that enables downsizing (layoffs) in 7 to 10 years. If you cannot fire, you cannot hire.

The MAX will enter service again. When is the question.

The C919 makes noise, but all indications are that it is as flawed as the ARJ-21. Notice dispatch reliability is never published on that aircraft? If it was Bombardier/Mitsubishi and Embraer would enjoy that marketing opportunity.

Lightsaber
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sassiciai
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:49 pm

Boeing is surely active on Plan B already, and perhaps looking into Plan C as well

Plan A continues to be to get the 737Max recertified and back in the air. This approach seems to be getting harder and harder, longer and longer, as days go bye. Might be unwise to bet the company on this plan

Plan B assumes the Max is doomed, and would therefore be a 2-pronged approach. Revamp 737NG production, and advance on NSA ASAP

Plan C might involve another manufacturer, Boeing is smooching up to Embraer, perhaps there is an already available alternative for the single aisle market, all be it at the lower end of the scale. Some jokers have also suggested Boeing builds A320s under licence! Well, there's a thought! There are lots of precedents of that happening, although maybe not so recently, or on such an incredible scale! Somehow, the market needs supply at twice what each member of the duopoly can currently provide!

"Where there's a will, there's a way"
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:06 pm

I think that this subject matter needs a reality check: which narrowbody doesn't have a full rate final assembly plant in North America?

Food for thought.

Boeing now also has the Ejet as plan B.
As interim lift or permanent capacity.
 
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keesje
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:53 pm

Everybody knows better looking back. (To be honest, google shows looking ahead too..). Maybe Airbus spread their risk, 3 success types (A223, A320,A321), 3 engines, 5 FALs. Putting all your money on 1 type, 1 engine, 1 FAL sounds good from a economies of scale standpoint, but..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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Aesma
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:03 pm

Airbus can take over some Boeing plants and employees to make more A32s there, if push comes to shove.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
T4thH
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:22 pm

Aesma wrote:
Airbus can take over some Boeing plants and employees to make more A32s there, if push comes to shove.

Sorry; but no. They will prefer to build up a new plant and to start to train new workers accordingly to build jets, and this is not iidenticall to the American/Boeing way, to ttrain someone on one single job/SOP, like to screw yellow srews into the yellow holes. And than to be trained on the next SOP, so you are allowed additional to srew the red screws into the red marked holes.
And regarding facilities? Empty buildings, everthing inside will be scrapped, if you want to produce another bird/product of another company..

Why they shall do his?

Bombardier, this is another story. A small company, experienced workers, who are experienced to buld different birds (and not only trained on one or few jobs). Airbus is committed by contracts, tthey will stay there for the next 30 years or so? There is a reason, why Airbus is now just buying big areas arounnd the airport,/FAL. in Montreal. I will not be surprised, when suddenly/not too far away in ttime the start of another production line/construction building (like A320 Family FALL or A350 FAL?) will be announced.. With 1 $, Canada has not sold the C100/300; instead they have bought in into the Airbus family.
As already said, Airbus is there to stay.
 
Kilopond
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:07 pm

keesje wrote:
Everybody knows better looking back. [...]


As far as Airbus is concerned, one could also say „de domste boeren hebben de dikste aardappelen”. They started the A320 family with the goal to steal some 300 or so orders from the historic McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing/Fokker oligopoly. There had been high risks and even Airbus themselves had not been able to forsee their own success/luck. Especially the 321 started very slowly, but now it has treamendously outsold any 757-200/300 and 737-900/900ER and 737MAX9/10 – ALL COUNTED TOGETHER!
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:24 pm

Airbus is doing better with narrowbodies

Image

However, I don’t know why we are excluding the widebody market from the conversation. The whole concept of the NMA is to erase the divide between widebodies and narrowbodies.

Boeing is bringing in more widebody revenue than narrowbody revenue

Image

Image

Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... e-counted/

The strength of the A321 and recent sales success of the A330 for regional operations in China explains why Boeing is progressing with the design of the NMA.
 
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keesje
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Re: Losing control? Narrow-body production in North America

Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:56 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Airbus is doing better with narrowbodies

Image

However, I don’t know why we are excluding the widebody market from the conversation. The whole concept of the NMA is to erase the divide between widebodies and narrowbodies.

Boeing is bringing in more widebody revenue than narrowbody revenue

Image

Image

Source: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/b ... e-counted/

The strength of the A321 and recent sales success of the A330 for regional operations in China explains why Boeing is progressing with the design of the NMA.


Widebodies, A350 will soon be at 10 a month, A330 back at 6 a month.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway

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