Boeing CEO To Suppliers: Share The Pain

By Joseph C. Anselmo , Guy Norris
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

Geographic diversity is strategically important. You can't be gated by one capability in one part of the world. In the case of Charleston [S.C.], we wanted a site that had enough overall capability, both in manufacturing and engineering, that we would have a choice to put things there if it made sense, just like we have a choice to put things in the Puget Sound area, which has a proven capability. The whole idea is to create choice as you face decisions like the 777 wing.

Where is the composite 777X wing going to be built?

We haven't decided yet. Now that we have a physical definition of what we want—what it's going to cost and the time it's going to take—we'll make a final decision on where within 4-6 months after we launch.

Is it possible it could go to Japan? Mitsubishi is a big part of the 787's composite wing.

I don't want to jump ahead of the queue, OK? As great of an opportunity as you're giving me, I don't want to paint myself into a corner.

Speaking of Japan, are you worried about Airbus breaking your monopoly in Japan with the A350?

Airbus is pushing hard. These are great customers, and we're trying to live up to their expectations every day. So there will be a competitive environment for the next set of airplanes. And we intend to win.

There is a bit of imbalance between the Airbus A320NEO narrowbody and Boeing's 737 MAX. Airbus has poached a couple of your customers.

We're a year-and-a-half behind them. We're ahead of the trajectory they were on at a similar timeframe. We are putting a lot of pressure on them on the widebody side, and they are coming back hard in the narrowbody market. But I am highly confident of the relative capability of the MAX versus the NEO. When all is said and done, you will not see a major shift in market share.

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