Bombardier sells Mexican wiring business to Latécoère for $50 million


Bombardier Learjet 75 photographed on May 1, 2019 at KTRM

Bombardier Aviation has agreed to sell its Mexican electrical wiring facility to French aerospace company Latécoère for $50 million.

The Querétaro facility makes Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems for Global, Challenger and Learjet aircraft. It employs 700 staff who will move to Latécoère and has annual sales of around $80 million. Bombardier has agreed a long term supply agreement with Latécoère.

“This acquisition reflects our willingness to emerge as a leading player in the global consolidation movement in the aeronautics sector,” said Yannick Assouad, CEO of Latécoère. “We keep deploying our manufacturing footprint on an international scale with a strong desire to strengthen our presence in the areas closest to our customers.”

Latécoère also supplies Airbus, Embraer, Dassault, Boeing and Bombardier. Aerostructures – such as fuselage sections and doors – account for 58% of its sales with Interconnexion systems – onboard wiring, electrical harnesses and avionics bays – making up the rest. It employs 4,958 people in 13 different countries.

“This agreement exemplifies Bombardier’s focus on streamlining its activities to foster a strong and efficient aviation franchise,” said Paul Sislian, chief operating officer, Bombardier Aviation. “With Latécoère’s reputation for excellence, this new partnership will result in a winning combination for both our companies.”

Bombardier opened facilities in Querétaro, one of Mexico’s two main aerospace hubs, in 2008. It will continue to build major structures for Bombardier aircraft, such as the aft fuselage for the Global family of business aircraft in Querétaro

The Canadian aircraft manufacturer sold its wing making businesses in Belfast, Northern Island, and Casablanca, Morocco, as well as a Dallas maintenance facility to Spirit Aerosystems in October 2019.

It hopes to close the sale to Latécoère before June 2020.


Mexico – the 12th largest aerospace market in the world

There are more than 300 aerospace manufacturers in Mexico – including most Tier One and Tier Two aerospace suppliers – making it the 12th largest aerospace market in the world. French aerospace manufacturer Safran was the first large aerospace company to move to Mexico and now has more than 10,000 employees in the country spread over 14 sites. Other well-known companies with facilities in the country include Airbus, Boeing, Fokker, Collins Aerospace and Honeywell. Companies are attracted both by cheaper costs and by a skilled workforce.

Bombardier Aviation launched in Querétara, north of Mexico City, in 2005. Since then the company has invested more than $500 million in the country. It started out manufacturing harnesses and electric sub-assemblies (the business it has sold to Latécoère)  but also builds the rear fuselage for all Global aircraft there.

Hawker Beechcraft set up a factory in Chihuahua in 2007 and Textron Aviation now has three facilities in the city. Gulfstream has a facility in Mexicali which makes wiring harnesses, sheet metal components, subassemblies and machined parts. This Mexicali facility is a past winner of the prestigious global Shingo prize for quality.