787 Line 2: Not in Seattle, says Exec Candidate

Production Line 2 of the Boeing 787 won’t be in Seattle, a candidate for King County Executive told the on-line newspaper, Crosscut Seattle.

King County is where Seattle is located and Boeing’s Commercial Airplane headquarters is in the county. The 787 is assembled across the county line in Snohomish County at the Everett plant, but the 737 line is in King County at Renton.

Fred Jarrett, one of five candidates running in August’s primary, is a Boeing manager and a state senator. Crosscut had this report on the 787:

On coming up with big state subsidies to make sure Boeing’s second 787 production line is built here: “The second line will be elsewhere, in Texas or the South. Boeing is just doing that to have more options. The real question is about future narrow body assembly.” Jarrett claims no inside knowledge, despite all his years at Boeing. But if this is true about the 787 Dreamliner, the state could save itself from undergoing a political maelstrom by pushing for massive tax incentives — just what is now gearing up in the Governor’s office and the Chamber of Commerce.

The entire interview may be read here.

6 Comments on “787 Line 2: Not in Seattle, says Exec Candidate

  1. He admits he has no “insider” knowledge. So are his comments “speculation”, or can one be more generous and call them “informed speculation”?

  2. cit: “The second line will be elsewhere, in Texas or the South. Boeing is just doing that to have more options. The real question is about future narrow body assembly.”

    I guess, assembling the same 787 at two different locations thousands of miles apart doesn’t make the aircraft less expensive, quite to the contrary.
    Such a move may impress or even shock the trade unions, but it surely won’t impress investors and shareholders.

    While the Boeing management is at it, they should move the whole 787 assembly en bloc to another location.

  3. As a very minor investor, I have to second Mr. Berger’s comments.

    To that i’ll add this:

    Mr Jarret is a politician. One who can’t seem to settle on one party, and generally represents a demographic that could care less about heavy manufacturing in general.

    To put it plainly, he is what he is. An opportunist determined to remain in office. Facts have nothing to do with it.

    Now if Boeing has reasonable demands I’m all for working it out with them. If they have unreasonable ones, the let them go. I can always sell my stock more cheaply than moving.

    But once again, Boeing just needs to spell it out.

    It’s going to be a tall, tall order to ramp up production on 787. It’s been hard enough so far in Everett, where all the expertise is. I have no reason to beleive the pain will not continue.

    Long term, first flight means nothing to me. Revenue does. If Boeing is stupid enough to go remote and amplify it’s supply and production problems, we should see break even on the program somewhere around 800-1000 units. Perhaps more. That’s just not acceptable.

    So let’s just leave the bubbly in the cellar and see if Boeing commercial can sucessfully do what it has not been able to since the mid eighties:

    Ramp up production quickly and smoothly on a new model.

    My guess is it will not happen that way. And trying to open a second line elsewhere will just divert critical rescources for a very marginal payoff, if any. My feeling is that such a move will just be a drag on revenue.

    Somehow, I just get the sense that the capabilities of this company on the commercial side are eroding. I don’t know if it’s the accountants being in charge, a brain drain, or outsourcing. But it’s there, I can feel it.

    Think about it. Boeing commercial is in a sector with only one real competitor, and that competitor is pretty inept for the most part, constantly needing government support.

    And Boeing can’t beat the tar out of them?


    The company that buried Lockheed’s commercial biz, did the same pretty much to McDonnal Douglas, and ate Rockwell/North American for a snack, takes 2 years after rollout to get air vehical number one flying?

    Observers are getting overheated about the nascent 787 first flight, and so is the stock.
    OK, so, investors who understand aerospace in general and Boeing in particular can make money on the hype and emotion, as long as they know when to get out.

    Show me a ramp up. A smooth operation. Airplanes in revenue service, delivered on schedual. Then i’ll change my mind.

  4. We personally know Fred Jarrett, and though Oneman has his view, we find Fred to be a rarity in politicians: principled. Fred was a Republican for decades, but of that rare breed–a moderate. The GOP in Washington State, like the national party, has moved so far to the right that Fred no longer fit in with today’s GOP philosophy, so he became a Democrat. As a Boeing employee, he has no motive to be “anti-Boeing,” as Oneman infers.

    As to the break-even on the 787 increasing to 800-1000 if a second line is set up elsewhere: we already are certain Boeing has already hit those numbers without a Line 2 in Seattle or anywhere else.

  5. Today’s GOP is the same as the old. Anyone claiming there is something new and different here is just kidding themselves. It’s a poor excuse.

    The “principals” of both parties have changed very little in the past thirty years, especially on the State level. And I’ve been following politics since Eisenhower.

    No, neither politics, nor politicians EVER change.

    Can you say with a straight face that the right is more conservative now than during the Regan years, especially the second half?

    Second, I fail to see how you can extrapolate an inferance of anti-Boeing sentimate on Mr Jarret’s part based on my remarks.

    What I meant to infer is that Mr. Jarret simply could seemingly care less about heavy manufacturing, and the jobs it provides. This is his constituancy. Next, I don’t really have to infer that Mr. Jarret is presenting conjecture as fact. Unless he knows something. But he claims no inside knowledge.

    So which is it?

    But if he really beleives it, and has nothing to say against a Boeing move out of state, then he simply faiks to grasp what anyone with any sense of the costs/savings issues understands:

    Such a move will be costly, and ultimately destructive. The 787 debacle has destroyed billions in shareholder value already. We have ample evidence right in front of us to be able to come to that conclusion. I see no need to take a bad plan and beat it to death by repeating it.

    And I have no use for local politicians who seemingly agree with it. Nor do I have sympathy for politicians who want to drop piles of taxpayer largesse at Boeing’s feet.

    This is a business deal, plain and simple, and there are very few on the political side of the issue approaching it as just that.

    Boeing needs to stop playing games with the issue, and the politicians need to lay off with the apathy or the ease with which they are intimidated.

    Whatever the nature of Mr. Jarret’s charachter, his apathy is disturbing. He’s already thrown in the sponge.

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