Boeing, Adient launch company to design, build airplane seats

Boeing, Adient launch company to design, build airplane seats

Joint venture supports Boeing's vertical integration strategy to develop in-house capabilities.

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January 17, 2018
Edited by Eric Brothers
Industry/Regulations

Boeing and Adient are forming Adient Aerospace, a joint venture that will develop, manufacture, and sell a portfolio of seating products to airlines and aircraft leasing companies. The seats will be available for installation on new airplanes and as retrofit configurations for aircraft produced by Boeing and other commercial airplane manufacturers.

The joint venture between Boeing and automotive seating manufacturer Adient aims to address the aviation industry's needs for more capacity in the seating category, superior quality, and reliable on-time performance. Adient Aerospace will draw upon the engineering teams and innovative cultures at both companies, as well as shared expertise in managing complex, global supply chains.

"Seats have been a persistent challenge for our customers, the industry, and Boeing, and we are taking action to help address constraints in the market. Adient Aerospace will leverage Boeing's industry leadership and deep understanding of customer needs and technical requirements, to provide a superior seating product for airlines and passengers around the world," said Kevin Schemm, senior vice president of Supply Chain Management, Finance & Business Operations and chief financial officer for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "This joint venture supports Boeing's vertical integration strategy to develop in-house capabilities and depth in key areas to offer better products, grow services, and generate higher lifecycle value."

"Adient has a strong set of transferable competencies that will offer a unique opportunity to create value for our company and for Boeing, our shareholders, and the broader commercial aircraft market," said Adient Chairman and CEO Bruce McDonald.

Adient Aerospace's operational headquarters, technology center, and initial production plant will be located in Kaiserslautern, Germany, near Frankfurt. The joint venture's initial customer service center will be based in Seattle, Washington. Adient Aerospace aftermarket spare parts distribution will be performed exclusively through Aviall, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing.

Adient is the majority stakeholder in the new company (50.01%) and expects the joint venture to be included in its consolidated financial statements. Boeing (as 49.99% partner) will receive a proportionate share of the earnings and cash flow. Both will have representation on Adient Aerospace's board of directors.

Industry analysts forecast the commercial aircraft seating market to grow from approximately $4.5 billion in 2017 to $6 billion by 2026.

With 86,000 employees operating 237 manufacturing/assembly plants in 33 countries worldwide, Adient produces and delivers automotive seating for all vehicle classes and all major OEMs – for more than 25 million vehicles every year.

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