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Boeing

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Donald Trump seems not to have noticed yet but the Boeing aircraft company has just handed him a perfect opportunity to target the middle ground in American politics. Boeing has for decades been perhaps the most egregious corporate exemplar of what Trump rightly denounces as the stupidity and spinelessness of U.S. trade policy. That policy... Read More
For decades the Boeing company has been quietly transferring large tranches of advanced U.S. aeronautical technology to Japan. The deal – which has gone almost entirely overlooked by the American press – is that Boeing engineers teach Japanese companies how to make more and more of each succeeding airplane model, and in return Japan’s state-controlled... Read More
At a welcoming banquet in Japan in the 1980s, Ford Motor chairman Philip Caldwell received a memorably double-edged compliment. “There is no secret about how we learned to do what we do, Mr. Caldwell,” said the head of Toyota Motor , Eiji Toyoda. “We learned it at the Rouge.” Toyoda was referring to Ford’s fabled... Read More
In this space last week Ihighlighted Boeing’s program to transfer much of its most advanced technology to Japan, and suggested the company is committing the industrial equivalent of assisted suicide (with the Tokyo industry ministry gamely playing the role of Dr. Kevorkian). Among the more perceptive reader comments was that of a puzzled friend in... Read More
Aerospace execs sell their industry to Japan­—one part at a time.
At a welcoming banquet in Japan in the 1980s, Ford Motor chairman Philip Caldwell received a memorably double-edged compliment. “There is no secret about how we learned to do what we do, Mr. Caldwell,” said the head of Toyota Motor, Eiji Toyoda. “We learned it at the Rouge.” Toyoda was referring to Ford’s fabled River... Read More
After some scarifying teething problems, the Boeing Dreamliner now seems to be becoming belatedly accepted as the wonder plane it was always cracked up to be. Though that is excellent news, it says far less about the health of the U.S. aerospace industry than Boeing executives would have you to believe. The fact is that... Read More
Congratulations to James B. Stewart on a superb New York Times article yesterday on Boeing. As he has pointed out, fully 35 percent of the airframe of the 787, the troubled, if superbly advanced, new Boeing jetliner, is being made in Japan. This reflects a highly organized, subsidy-drenched effort by the Japanese industrial system to... Read More
The news overnight seems to have become increasingly troubling for Boeing, as investigations into the 787′s problems fan out in all directions. Although it is still not known which, if any, of at least four Boeing suppliers may be to blame, it is clear that the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board... Read More
My colleague Steve Denning’s commentarytoday on Boeing’s 787 problems is on the money in identifying a key managerial wrong turning a decade ago. Boeing decided at the outset to rely on outsourcing for 70 percent of the plane’s manufactured content. As Steve shows at length, this greatly increased the managerial complexity of the project and... Read More
How serious isBoeing’s 787 problem? Gerhard Fasol, chief of the Tokyo-based consulting firm Eurotechnology, takes a pessimistic view. He believes that one key paragraph in last night’s statement by the Federal Aviation Administration defines Boeing’s problem: “Before further flight, operators of U.S.-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the... Read More
The crisis at Boeing took a dramatic turn for the worse last night when the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all U.S.-registered 787s. Other regulatory authorities have followed suit and now the guessing game begins on how long the grounding will last and who exactly is to blame. In retrospect it is clear is that the... Read More
As I anticipated in mypost before the market opened this morning, Boeing shares have taken a drubbing following news of the grounding of all Japanese-owned 787s last night. Meanwhile shares of EADS, the company that makes Airbus planes, are modestly higher. If anything, investors seem to be overreacting to Boeing’s problems. Certainly at a time... Read More
Is Boeing’s vaunted 787 — the so-called Dreamliner — the Edsel of the air? Probably not, but the plane is under a serious cloud and so is its maker. The recent run of 787 emergencies may well be mere teething problems, as Boeing executives insist, but in the era of the 24-hour news cycle, the... Read More
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