July 27, 2016: For the first time in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Boeing said production of the iconic 747 may end.
In a 10Q quarterly filing today, concurrent with the 2Q2017 earnings release, Boeing said:
Lower-than-expected demand for large commercial passenger and freighter aircraft and slower-than-expected growth of global freight traffic have continued to drive market uncertainties, pricing pressures and fewer orders than anticipated. As a result, during the second quarter of 2016, we canceled previous plans to return to a production rate of 1.0 aircraft per month beginning in 2019, resulting in a reduction in the program accounting quantity from 1,574 to 1,555 aircraft. This reduction in the program accounting quantity, together with lower anticipated revenues from future sales and higher costs associated with producing fewer airplanes, resulted in a reach-forward loss of $1,188 in the quarter. The adjusted program accounting quantity includes 32 undelivered aircraft, currently scheduled to be produced through 2019. We previously recognized reach-forward losses of $885 and $70 during the second half of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, respectively, related to the prior decision to reduce the production rate to 0.5 per month and lower estimated revenue from future sales due to ongoing pricing and market pressures. We are currently producing at a rate of 1.0 per month and expect to reduce the rate to 0.5 per month in September 2016. We continue to have a number of completed aircraft in inventory as well as unsold production positions and we remain focused on obtaining additional orders and implementing cost-reduction efforts. If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated, we could record additional losses that may be material, and it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747. (Emphasis added.)
Boeing continues to warn of the prospect of a “material” forward loss in the 787 program. This is consistent with years for SEC filings.