EBACE Convention News

Embraer to open Florida Phenom assembly plant

 - May 19, 2008, 10:11 AM

Luis Carlos Affonso, executive v-p of Embraer Executive Jets added more details to the revelation last week that Embraer plans to open a facility at Florida’s Melbourne International Airport for final assembly and interior completion of the Brazilian manufacturer’s new Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 (see related story on page 6).

A memorandum of intent has already been executed by all the necessary parties and a final decision is predicated on approval by state and local governments. Melbourne mayor Harry Goode described the arrival of Embraer as adding a multitude of benefits for the community that would be “a real win for Melbourne.” The city is located on Florida’s east coast, about 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Miami.

Affonso said the project had been in the works for more than a year, but he declined to name other cities that were being considered. He did say that “state and local incentives” were factors in the decision.

Noting that about 95 percent of Embraer executive jets production is for export, he described the decision to open an assembly plant in the U.S. as “a strategic move” that would put Embraer closer to its customers.

Embraer already has a corporate presence in the U.S. with headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The new assembly plant will add substantially to that presence by including a customer design center where buyers can preview the two Phenom models, choose interior furnishings and exterior paint schemes, and take delivery.

Embraer president and CEO Frederico Curado said that within days of the news, customers were calling to reschedule delivery of their aircraft in Melbourne. Curado said there will be a price differential between Phenoms delivered in Brazil or in the U.S. that will reflect the expense of the 1,200-nm ferry flight of a finished aircraft.

The total investment is valued at approximately ?32 million ($50 million). The resulting 150,000-sq-ft facility is expected to open in 2010 and will employ more than 200 persons by 2011. The Melbourne plant, said Affonso, will be producing eight Phenoms a month by 2012. The total combined production capacity of the Gavião Peixoto assembly facility and the new Melbourne plant will be 22 Phenoms per month.

Sub-assembly sections for the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300–wings, fuselage sections and other components–will be built at Embraer’s Brazil facilities and shipped to Florida for final assembly. This includes cabin completion components such as the interior shell liner, cabinetry and finished seats for installation at Melbourne.
Embraer expects to break ground on the Melbourne plant by the end of 2008.   

Embraer To Announce MSJ’s and MLJ’s Real Names Today

At 11 a.m. this morning at its booth (No. 7441, Hall 7) Embraer plans to reveal the official names for its two new mid-size and light mid-size business jets, heretofore referred to by the Brazilian manufacturer as simply the MSJ (midsize jet) and MLJ (midlight jet). The two programs were officially launched earlier this year.