Nation/World

Boeing Looks To Global Market Nearly Three-Fourths Of Future Business May Come From Outside North America

The Boeing Co. expects nearly three-fourths of the value of its future jet orders to come from customers outside North America.

The company projects a worldwide market for 16,160 jets worth $1.1 trillion over the next 20 years, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group President Ron Woodard said Thursday.

International customers will account for 72 percent of new airplane investment during that time, Woodard told the Seattle World Affairs Council.

“You can expect Boeing to become more engaged in local economies around the world, and to pursue market opportunities wherever they occur,” he said.

Noting that “the international market benefits everyone,” Woodard said Europe benefits from the sale of Boeing planes.

Boeing has 436 suppliers in 19 countries in Europe, and the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group will spend about $14 billion with European suppliers over the next five years, Woodard said.

Woodard also denied that Boeing’s recent merger with McDonnell Douglas threatens Europe’s aerospace industry.

The combined 1996 revenues of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas amounted to less than half of revenues of the partner companies that make up Airbus, Boeing’s European competitor, Woodard said.

“There’s a giant all right, but it’s not us,” he said. “It’s the combined partners of the Airbus consortium.”

Woodard began his speech by saying he wouldn’t discuss recently filed shareholder lawsuits that claim he and other top executives defrauded stockholders by deliberately withholding information about Boeing production problems earlier this year.

Woodard said a day earlier that the allegations are “totally without basis.”

“I happen to know what was going on and what decisions were made, and I happen to know that there is absolutely nothing like that that’s being alleged,” he told The Seattle Times.



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