Hispano-Suiza and Rolls-Royce join forces in the power transmission field

Hispano-Suiza (Safran) and Rolls-Royce have signed a final agreement to create a joint venture in charge of developing and producing power transmission systems for Rolls-Royce’s future civil aircraft engines. Hélène Moreau-Leroy, Chairman and CEO of Hispano-Suiza, explains the strategic importance of this alliance.

Hispano-Suiza is going to create a 50/50 joint venture with Rolls-Royce. What are the reasons behind this alliance, and what are the objectives? 

Rolls-Royce is a historical partner and major customer of Hispano-Suiza. For almost thirty years, Hispano-Suiza has been supplying Rolls-Royce with the power transmission systems for its Trent (Trent 500, 700, 800 and Trent XWB) and BR700 engines, i.e. more than 4,000 systems in total. The entity we are going to set up has great strategic importance for both parent companies. Our joint venture will have exclusive control for developing, producing and maintaining operational availability of all the world-class power transmission systems that will equip Rolls-Royce's future civil aircraft engines. The new company brings together each party's specific expertise: Hispano-Suiza's experience in designing and producing power transmission systems combined with Rolls-Royce's engine expertise and integration know-how.

 

Hispano-Suiza et Rolls-Royce unissent leurs forces dans la transmission de puissance

 

What are the industrial benefits expected from this joint venture? 

The joint venture enables Hispano-Suiza to establish a long-term partnership with Rolls-Royce and to have greater visibility as regards future activities. It will also contribute to safeguarding our market share and guarantee the requisite critical business mass to ensure our competitiveness. The long-term stability of the joint venture – the agreement is for a period of 25 years, renewable – provides both parties with the guarantee that the products manufactured will be optimized right from the design phase. For Rolls-Royce, the joint venture also ensures they will have an exclusive supplier with the very best technologies in the market. 
 

How is the joint venture organized? 

Each parent company has a 50% stake. The head office will be based on Hispano-Suiza's site in Colombes (Hauts-de-Seine département). 
The activities and resources are split between France, the United Kingdom and Germany. The joint venture consists of two design offices, based at Rolls-Royce and Hispano-Suiza, and a production facility that will be set up in a competitive country. At first, it will manufacture spur gears, carry out the machining of casings and the assembly of transmission systems. Ultimately, it will also manufacture spiral bevel gears* and provide operational maintenance. 
As regards staffing, part of the joint venture's employees will be seconded from the parent companies, and part will be hired directly, primarily for the production site. 
 

What will the production programs be? 

All future Rolls-Royce civil aero engines programs are concerned. However, to ensure the joint venture gets up and running quickly, it will also be assigned part of the studies and production for existing programs, notably for the power transmission systems for the Trent XWB and BR725. The joint venture will start operations in early 2015. 

* Spiral bevel gears are gears with geometrically complex teeth.