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New global strategy hit local manufacturers hard
Once a fountain of work for local suppliers, Boeing now dribbles out relatively little to the Pacific Northwest's smaller aerospace players.
A local aerospace executive, who asked not to be identified because Boeing is a customer, said the new globalized-manufacturing approach means suppliers here must go as far as Japan to win contracts for Boeing work.
"As a Seattleite, watching Boeing going to Chicago was very depressing.
"From a business standpoint, whether they are here or [in Chicago] is irrelevant," he said. "The fact that they shifted the whole direction, getting out of manufacturing ... that was discouraging."
His company got little work on the new 787 directly from Boeing, he said, "an enormous shift from past programs."
Luckily, his company's track record on previous Boeing jets won contracts with 787 suppliers overseas.
"I don't think we could have started in this environment," the local executive said. "We're fortunate to have existed when Boeing was pre-Chicago."
Dominic Gates, Seattle Times aerospace reporter
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company