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2020 Aerospace manufacturing attractiveness rankings

August 2020


Our annual aerospace manufacturing attractiveness rankings report is a guide to promising geographic locations for aerospace development. The index examines relative strengths across many variables of locales both within the United States and globally, providing organizations with data they can leverage to help plan for the future.

Until COVID-19 appeared, the emphasis for the past two decades had been on expansion. Now, the emphasis should be on liquidity and managing supply-chain risk, while planning for a return of volume in three to five years. At the same time, aerospace manufacturing capacity took decades to build, and it is important that industry players focus on greater agility to carry out a full rebound.

The PwC rankings are based on a weighted score of category and subcategory rankings. PwC’s weighting system represents one way to evaluate the data and that individual users may tailor the weightings differently. Our quantitative framework can help provide industry leaders with information to optimize the supply chain, control costs and plan for future growth.


Country Rankings

Top 10 country/region rankings for aerospace attractiveness
Global map
Top 10 state rankings for aerospace attractiveness
US map

Considerations for your business around the world

Passenger travel and cargo freight declined dramatically in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is still uncertain how long a recovery to 2019 levels may take. In any case, airlines continue to struggle in the face of diminished revenue and cash flow. Producers of commercial aircraft, likewise, have been buffeted by cancelled or postponed orders, which have, in turn, placed pressure on the entire commercial aviation supply chain ecosystem.

COVID-19 has caused some companies to reassess their global supply chain footprints — with potential supplier risk now carrying a higher premium — and to consider alternatives to build in resiliency, such as putting insourcing or even onshoring on the table. Moving the supply chain to the OEM’s home territories — or to countries such as Mexico, Vietnam or the Philippines — can reduce risk and may also offer benefits, such as lower labor costs, favorable government policies and economies of scale. Manufacturers should also review their purchase and supply contracts to determine what force majeure rights and obligations may apply.

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Considerations for your business in the United States

The US commercial aerospace industry has braved substantial disruption in the first half of 2020, and it appears it will likely continue facing challenges on numerous fronts for the rest of the year and beyond. While this year has been a painful one for OEMs and the supplier network — especially for those furloughed or laid-off — 2020 may actually be the year that the industry can make real improvements. The current urgency is helping drive some companies to fast-track initiatives, such as greater adoption of automation and smart factory technologies, innovations in workforce and training, and rebalancing supply chains to make them more resilient.

As our state ranking demonstrates, the US has strengthened its position as the world’s most important hub for production of both commercial aircraft and military systems. Going forward, the states that continue to support the growth of A&D clusters will likely continue to attract the domestic and foreign investment they need to sustain themselves through the COVID-19 recession and to continue at the forefront of innovation — not only in what they produce, but, just as important, how they produce.

At the same time, the industry should attend to the perennial challenges of attracting talent and nurturing the next generation of engineers and shop-floor specialists. Greater collaboration with secondary schools, technical colleges and university systems is crucial. The industry would also do well to make a strong push for apprenticeship programs, especially in the wake of high unemployment in many of the country’s A&D hubs.

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How PwC can help

We hope you find this year’s aerospace attractiveness rankings informative and useful. Our Aerospace and Defense Practice provides insights, perspectives and solutions addressing the full-spectrum of scenarios that are changing the possibilities for A&D companies.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss the findings from our report. Clients can contact us through the form below to discuss your companies specific objectives and how we can work to customize our model for your individual needs.

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Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson

Global Aerospace and Defense Leader, PwC US

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