Boeing May Move Development Work

Company may use engineers outside Seattle as costs rise at jet hub.

Boeing Co., working to reach a new contract with union engineers, says some development work on future airliners may be done at less-expensive sites outside its Seattle jet-manufacturing hub.

While keeping the renewed focus on engineering championed by former Commercial Airplanes President Jim Albaugh, Boeing can draw on resources from across the breadth of the company, not just those in the Puget Sound region, Mike Delaney, the chief engineer, said yesterday.

Managing Costs

Managing costs is pivotal as Boeing braces for U.S. defense cuts and focuses on productivity after amassing billions of dollars in charges from delays to the Dreamliner and the new 747-8 jumbo jet. The planemaker is bringing some design work back in-house after acknowledging it outsourced too much on the 787 and lost control of the program.

Different Leaders

“We weren’t doing new airplanes,” and the company hadn’t yet responded to the threat to the Boeing 767 posed by Airbus SAS’s A330, Delaney said. “We did have some leadership who did not appreciate and understand the value of engineering.”

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