Tue, Jan 23, 2007
Overseas Suppliers May Put Program Behind Schedule
A communication to investors from Wachovia analysts
reported in MarketWatch suggests Boeing's major suppliers
Mitsubishi and Alenia have fallen behind schedule, and could delay
deliveries for its 787 Dreamliner by as much as six months.
Mitsubishi is building the 787's wings, while Alenia is
Boeing's 787 center fuselage supplier. Wachovia warns if the
program isn't delayed, at the very least it will see significant
"It is our understanding that Mitsubishi has caught up a bit but
is still behind schedule. Alenia by contrast appears to be the
major culprit at this time, and we understand that Boeing has sent
an army of engineers to help get the program back on track," the
brokerage wrote in a note to clients.
Boeing's shares reportedly fell three-percent on the news
One of Boeing's biggest gambles with the 787 -- aside from the
jet's all-composite construction -- is the company's decision to
outsource major portions of its construction, many to overseas
manufacturers. The company has even developed a specially modified
747-400, called the Dreamlifter, to transport major components
built overseas back to its factory in Washington for final
Wachovia also wrote in its note to investors some of Boeing's
Asia-Pacific customers have been warned to expect delays.
Most industry observers blame Airbus' order race loss to Boeing
last year on the European manufacturer's two-year delivery delay
with its A380 program.
A Boeing representative wasn't available for comment Monday on
the MarketWatch story, although the company is expected to
give a 787 delivery schedule update when it announces earnings
results January 31.
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