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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, has purchased a plot of land in Nagoya from Mitsubishi Motors Corp to build a plant to manufacture wings for Boeing’s 7E7 airplane, scheduled for launch in 2008.
The move aims to expand the firm’s aerospace business to make up for slow-growing or declining shipbuilding and nuclear power facility operations.
Construction of the plane wing plant will be cost some $319 million.
Mitsubishi Heavy is in charge of manufacturing the carbon fibre wing, which will be the first carbon fibre wing to be used in commercial passenger airplanes. It plans to supply wings for 2,000 Boeing 7E7s over a span of 20 years.
The wing plant, to be built on a 100,000 square meter site where Mitsubishi Motors, the troubled auto maker, formerly assembled vehicles, is scheduled to come onstream in 2006. Mitsubishi Heavy is expected to pay 4-5 bln yen for the land, the first sale of property for Mitsubishi Motors since the embattled automaker unveiled a rehabilitation program in May, the paper reported.
Mitsubishi Motors is expected to use the proceeds from the land sale for investment in the development of new cars. The struggling carmaker closed the plant on the land in 2001 following a plunge in domestic auto sales.
Boeing and MHI have been working closely together for more than 30 years. For the 777, 767, 747 and 737 models, MHI has been responsible for the design and manufacture of various airframe structure components, including fuselages, fuselage panels, entry doors, cargo doors and inboard flaps. In March 2004 MHI won Boeing’s “”Suppliers of the Year”” award in the category of major structures. The awards, given in recognition of a commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, were conferred on 13 recipients from a field of 10,900 suppliers in more than 60 countries. And only last month, MHI released a press statement of the shipment of the new wing centre section for the Boeing 747.
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