With one month left to go, Boeing Co. already has met its 787 delivery goal for 2015.
The aerospace giant brought 126 Dreamliners to customers through the first 11 months of this year, more than its stated goal of 120 deliveries for the entire year. The total beats the previous delivery record of 114 set in 2014.
November was the second month of this year — joining August — in which Boeing brought 14 Dreamliners to customers, the highest monthly total for 2015. The company is averaging nearly 11.5 deliveries per month.
“As we head down the home stretch of 2015, the Boeing teams in our factories and delivery centers continue to do impressive things,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said last week in his online blog.
As 2015 draws to a close, analysts are already looking ahead to see what next year’s Dreamliner numbers might bring.
Uresh Sheth, a New York investment banker who compiles a Dreamliner production database, is predicting Boeing will bring 140 of the wide-body passenger planes to customers in 2016. Major customers will include Japan’s All Nippon Airways, with 13 deliveries, including a dozen 787-9s, and British Airways and Air Canada, expected to receive 11 and 10 787-9s, respectively.
All told, 31 customers worldwide are expected to get new Dreamliners in the coming year. One trend Sheth expects to continue next year is the increase in 787-9 deliveries compared to those for its older and slightly smaller sibling, the 787-8. Both models are made at Boeing’s North Charleston campus and in Everett, Wash. Sheth said the number of 787-9 deliveries should outpace the 787-8 by nearly 3-to-1 in the coming year.
“Another milestone that should take place by the end of 2016 is the start of 787-10 production,” Sheth said on his “All Things 787” website. “The first 787-10 test aircraft should load into position 1-A in North Charleston late in the fourth quarter of 2016.”
North Charleston will be the only place where Boeing makes the “Dash 10,” a stretched version of the 787-9 and the most fuel-efficient of the three-plane Dreamliner family.
Boeing plans to reallocate some of its 787-8 and 787-9 final assembly slots in North Charleston to Everett to make sure produc- tion of customer aircraft doesn’t skip a beat while the 787-10 is being built. The first Dash 10 should roll off North Charleston’s production line in the first quarter of 2018, Sheth said.
Boeing also plans to boost production of its Dreamliners to 12 per month in 2016 from its current 10-per-month level.
Breaking down deliveries between the two production sites, Sheth projects there will be 61 North Charleston-made Dreamliners — 17 787-8s and 44 787-9s — brought to customers in 2016 while Everett-made deliveries will total 79, or 21 787-8s and 58 787-9s.
Volvo Cars North America reported a 90.5 percent increase in vehicle sales year-over-year in November, with 6,902 cars sold. Year-to-date sales are up 18 percent over the first 11 months of 2014.
The top seller for November was the newly redesigned XC90 luxury SUV, with 2,236 sales. The XC90 recently was awarded Motor Trend magazine’s SUV of the Year. The XC60 also showed continued growth with 2,077 sales, a 26.4 percent increase over last year.
The XC60 also represents the top seller year-to-date with 22,623 units sold, a 31.6 percent increase over 2014.
Volvo is building its first U.S. manufacturing plant — a $500 million facility that will employ up to 4,000 people — in Berkeley County. The plant will be the only place in the world where Volvo makes its S60, described as a sporty compact sedan. The model that will be made in the Charleston region will be completely redesigned.
Berkeley County’s facility is set to start production in 2018.