Boeing buys multi-billion dollar subcontractor in ‘complete turnaround’

“Boeing said Monday 1er July that it would buy the equipment manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems, and thus put an end to a nearly twenty-year experiment which consisted of subcontracting the production of important components of its commercial aircraft,” reports The New York Times. A change of strategy for the American airline, which is going through a complicated period marked by the multiplication of failures on its devices and several investigations by the United States Civil Aviation Agency.

To acquire Spirit, the aircraft manufacturer will have to pay between 4.7 and 8.3 billion dollars – between 4.3 and 7.7 billion euros. Note that as part of this transaction, Boeing will sell shares in Spirit AeroSystems to its European rival, Airbus.

In a press release cited by the New York Times, Dave Calhoun, resigning CEO of Boeing, said that in “reintegrating Spirit” the company “will truly be able to reconnect its production and the security of its systems to its factories”. The takeover is expected to be effective by the middle of next year.

Change your approach

“This acquisition represents a complete reversal of Boeing’s strategy, which began in the early 2000s to outsource part of its production to independent suppliers in order to reduce costs and increase profits,” recalls the New York newspaper. But several incidents, including the door ofan Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 being torn off in mid-flight, have deeply damaged the image and reputation of the aircraft manufacturer.

To turn the tide, Boeing decided to shake up the organization chart at its head, in addition to changes within its production lines. Thus, the company “also declared that she wanted to reduce the so-called practice of ‘traveled work’, which consisted of postponing a task or operation planned at a certain stage of production or assembly to a later stage”. A method that has been singled out because it can contribute to the appearance of faults on devices.

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