9 July 2009 | Jake Kanter
Boeing is buying a key supplier for its 787 Dreamliner airplane in a bid to increase production and drive efficiency.
The aviation firm this week agreed to pay $580 million (£359 million) for Vought Aircraft Industries (VAI), acquiring the supplier's assets, inventory and South Carolina production site.
VAI produces structures and systems for the Dreamliner's fuselage. It is also a supplier to Boeing competitor Airbus.
VAI chief executive, Elmer Doty said the financial demands of the programme had grown beyond what the company could manage.
Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes said in a statement: "Integrating this facility and its talented employees into Boeing will strengthen the 787 program by enabling us to accelerate productivity and efficiency improvements as we move toward production ramp-up."
Boeing has faced a number of supply chain issues in its delayed manufacture of the Dreamliner. In April the company announced the programme to deliver the aircraft would be pushed back to the third-quarter of 2009, due to a "slower than expected completion of work" (News, 14 April 2008).
Following the takeover, VAI will continue to supply other Boeing aircraft, including the 747.