Boeing needs to bring more of its engineering work back inside Boeing, the company's chief executive said today after announcing a $1.6 billion loss for the third quarter.
Jim McNerney said the company went too far in attempting to develop the revolutionary 787 Dreamliner while also installing a new design and production scheme that relied heavily on outside suppliers.
Much of the company-wide quarterly loss was driven by $2.5 billion in new costs associated with design and production problems on the Dreamliner. The company also took $1 billion in additional losses on the development and production of a second new project, a next generation 747.
"The industry got a little overheated," said McNerney addressing the root of the 787 and 747 problems. "Baselines set up were very aggressive."
Attempting to build a new plane with pioneering composite technology while simultaneously pushing major design and construction responsibility out to partners was "a bridge too far," he said.
"We need to bring more of the engineering, especially as the systems level, back into Boeing," he told reporters and analysts in a conference call.
The Dreamliner is now nearly 2 1/2 years late in flying for the first time, and the 747-8's first flight schedule recently slipped into the first quarter of 2010.
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