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波音公司 2019 年营收锐减

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发表于 2020-2-29 19:41:40 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
2019 Wasn’t Boeing’s Worst Year. Not Even Close.

Loren ThompsonSenior Contributor

[size=0.75]Aerospace & Defense
I write about national security, especially its business dimensions.




Last year’s crisis surrounding the crash of two 737 Max jetliners was the biggest challenge Boeing management has faced in many years. But it wasn’t Boeing’s “darkest hour,” as one Christmas Eve commentary asserted. In fact, it wasn’t even the first time that 737s have crashed due to a design flaw.
Boeing has faced bigger challenges to its survival in the past. Nobody should minimize the human costs of losing two 737s to avoidable accidents. Lives have been tragically cut short, families have been irreparably torn apart.
But the evidence from past crises suggests Boeing will survive and thrive again, probably sooner than many are expecting—thanks in part to the hard lessons the company has learned from its latest challenge. Here are five instances when times were as bad, or worse, for America’s leading aerospace company.
Washington breaks up the company. The company was founded by Bill Boeing and a partner in 1916, just in time to benefit from a surge of military orders during World War One. After the war, Boeing won lucrative airmail contracts from the federal government, and assembled a sprawling aviation conglomerate aimed at dominating that business (its holdings included engine-maker Pratt & Whitney and what became United Airlines).

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But in 1934 the Roosevelt Administration canceled the company’s airmail contracts and moved to break up what it viewed as an emerging monopoly. Bill Boeing was so upset by these moves that he quit the company and sold all his stock. Unlike competing companies begun by aerospace pioneers such as Donald Douglas, Glenn Martin and James McDonnell, Boeing lost the driving force of its founder early on.

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That could have been fatal for the enterprise—many aircraft companies failed during depression years—but instead it taught Boeing to operate without a hard-charging visionary at its helm. Most of the companies whose founders stuck around later proved incapable of competing when that visionary faltered or died.
A revolutionary product offering fails. While Washington was prosecuting its trust-busting campaign against Boeing, the company introduced one of the most revolutionary products in its history. The Boeing 247 today is considered the first modern airliner. It was a monoplane rather than a biplane. It was all-metal rather than containing wood or canvas in its design. It had a streamlined shape and retractable landing gear to minimize drag. It even had a wing de-icing system.
Boeing’s 247 was an impressive technological achievement, but few were sold. The plane was soon eclipsed by the even more advanced Douglas DC-3, which could carry a larger number of passengers. In the end only 75 Boeing 247s were built, 60 of which went to the company’s airline unit that Washington would soon force it to divest. Thousands of DC-3s were eventually built.
Military demand collapses. Boeing and its competitors were rescued from the doldrums of the Great Depression by World War Two. Even before America entered the war, Washington launched a vast buildup of U.S. air power that multiplied the company’s revenues. Boeing built the B-17 and B-29 bombers. North American Aviation, which later became part of Boeing, built over 14,000 P-51 Mustang fighters. Douglas, which was absorbed into Boeing at the end of the century via its merger with McDonnell Douglas, built nearly 6,000 Dauntless dive bombers and many thousands of other military planes.
But within weeks after victory was won in 1945, the government commenced wholesale cancellation of military aircraft contracts. About 70,000 Boeing workers lost their jobs, as did 99,000 workers at Douglas. North American Aviation saw its workforce shrink from a high of 91,000 to 5,000. Boeing and its rivals thus entered the postwar period severely diminished and with uncertain business prospects.
Commercial aircraft sales crater. Boeing transformed the B-29 airframe into a commercial airliner after the war, but what really lifted its prospects was the coming of the Cold War and the advent of jet engines. The Cold War generated demand for new Boeing bombers, most notably the jet-powered B-52. Boeing also built hundreds of jet-powered tankers to support the bomber fleet, and work on that program contributed to development of its 707 jetliner—the first successful commercial transport produced in the jet age.
By the late 1960s, Boeing was the global leader in jetliners, having developed the single-aisle 737 that was to become the most widely used commercial transport in history, and the 747 jumbojet that held the world record for passenger carrying capacity over four decades.
But development of the 747 left the company heavily indebted, and in the early 1970s everything seemed to go wrong. An economic recession caused orders for commercial aircraft to dry up just as military demand generated by the Vietnam War was softening. Between 1968 and 1971 the number of workers at Boeing’s commercial airplane unit fell over 75%, from 88,700 to 20,750. Company finances were stretched to the breaking point, and bankruptcy was barely averted.
A design flaw causes 737 crashes. In 1991 a 737 jetliner crashed on approach to Colorado Springs after inexplicably rolling to the right and then going into a steep dive. Everybody on board died. In 1994 it happened again near Pittsburgh, with the plane this time rolling to the left before pitching down. Once again, everybody on board was killed.
These earlier 737 accidents did not provoke the same crisis atmosphere as recent MAX mishaps have, because they were much more widely separated in time. However, a four-year investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board after the 1994 crash concluded that a malfunction in the tail rudder had caused it to reverse direction, causing both tragedies. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered modification of a key mechanism and mandated new training procedures so pilots could cope with unanticipated shifts in the flight control system.
Boeing and its corporate antecedents have faced many other challenges, such as the end of the Cold War that severely reduced demand for military aircraft, and the rise of a heavily subsidized European jetliner producer that eventually claimed half of the global market. The enterprise as it exists today was shaped by the stresses these recent events created.
But the important point is that the enterprise still does exist, and in fact was doing very well before its most recent crisis. After over a hundred years of operation, Boeing is one of the few survivors in a once crowded industry, and it has far greater resources for coping with crises than it did when earlier challenges arose. So Boeing will be back, probably sooner rather than later. When it does recover lost ground, the memory of innocent lives lost will take a long time to fade, and likely make it a better company.
Boeing and several of its competitors contribute to my think tank.



Check out my website.Loren Thompson





[size=0.875]I focus on the strategic, economic and business implications of defense spending as the Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and Chief Executive...
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 楼主| 发表于 2020-2-29 19:45:51 | 显示全部楼层
first annual loss in more than two decades as 737 Max crisis drags on
PUBLISHED WED, JAN 29 20207:07 AM ESTUPDATED WED, JAN 29 20204:50 PM EST
Leslie Josephs
@LESLIEJOSEPHS
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Boeing’s posted its first annual loss since 1997 due to the 737 Max crisis.
The bestselling jetliners have been grounded since March after two fatal crashes.
Boeing’s bill from the crashes has roughly doubled to nearly $19 billion.

两次飞机坠毁事件给波音公司所造成的损失 接近 190 亿美元。
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