Gardner eyes Chinese aerospace market, following acquisition

FINN talks to Gardner Aerospace's new CEO, Dominic Cartwright.

Gardner Aerospace is one of Europe’s largest suppliers of aerospace detailed parts and sub-assemblies. In 2017, it was acquired by Chinese firm SLMR (now named Ligeance Aerospace Technology Co. Ltd). New CEO, Dominic Cartwright, tells FINN about what the acquisition means for the business.

He noted that since 2017, the company has been in a position to make further acquisitions, including Northern Aerospace in 2018.

“This took Gardner from the detailed parts manufacturing capability into a long bed machining capability. It positions us much more strategically in the Airbus supply chain,” Cartwright said.

He added: “Now, we’re a $300 million business employing 2,250 people in five countries.”

This encompasses 17 factories, including a new 500,000 sq ft facility in Chengdu, China.

“This will support access to the Chinese aerospace market,” Cartwright said. “We're positioned fantastically for future growth.”

'Gardnerising'

Of the strategy in China, Cartwright explained: “We're growing the capabilities there based on our current capabilities, supporting European aircraft manufacturers. It’s the early stages of the project. We've established a training school and we'll start developing the Chinese local workforce in the Gardner way of working. It's all about ‘Gardnerising’ the facility.”

Growth in China

He added: “We'll get the people, get the capabilities and then we'll talk to the Chinese aerospace market players about supporting their detailed parts, long bed machining and other capabilities to fuel the growth in China.”

“The China factory really opens up a whole new market for us. And with Chinese parents now, that’s a really a big advantage.”

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