Kjell Johnsson, Vice President and Managing Director a Aerostructures
2012 has been a year of optimism for Aerostructures in the Aeronautics business area. A renewed contract with Airbus and a collaboration with QuEST in India were two of the highlights.
New contracts and collaborations in markets and parts of the world that are important for Saab. Preparations for increased rates of production and further investment in research programmes. Kjell Johnsson, Vice President and Managing Director a Aerostructures, has many reasons to be happy with the past year.
"The decision by Airbus to extend our contract for the production of ailerons for the Airbus 320 was very pleasing. Saab has supplied ailerons to the A320 since the millennium and by retaining the customer's faith as the sole manufacturer of the aircraft's ailerons is a sign of our strong business relationship," says Kjell Johnsson about the contract, which is worth at least SEK 700 million.
Kjell Johnsson also highlights the new collaboration with QuEST (see separate article) as strategically important:
"This partnership further strengthens Saab’s position in the commercial aerostructures market as well as increases Saab’s presence in India, an important region for Saab."
Kjell Johnsson is now looking forward to the year ahead:
"We have every reason to be optimistic about the future. 2013 will be a challenging year for us. We anticipate increased production rates during the coming years, which we must continue to prepare for. The recruitment drive that has started must continue, as well as our lean activities and active improvement work.”’
Each year, Saab invests 20 percent of turnover in research and development. This is an unusually high figure that the company has maintained for many years. Within Aerostructures, this means active participation in a number of national and international development projects. During the year, the industry decided to support a continuation of the European research programme, Clean Sky, in which Saab plays an active role. The EU projects GF Demo and LOCOMACHS are examples of R&D projects that have started during the year.
"Advanced technology and world class engineering skill has been and remains at the heart of Saab's success. This is why we are able to position ourselves as a natural partner for the next generation of commercial aircraft," concludes Kjell Johnsson.