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Resources key to Boeing 787 supplier success

There’s a big difference between the Vought facility in South Carolina that Boeing is acquiring and Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems: resources.

Both plants make key components on Boeing’s new 787.

“The problem at Vought wasn’t lack of experience,” said Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia. “They’ve been building major parts of Boeing jets since the late ’60s. The problem was resources.”

Vought had been forgotten by their owners and had minimal resources at their disposal, Aboulafia said.

In contrast, successful partners on the program such as Spirit had the needed financial backing to execute on the work and win new contracts, he said.

“When you trust people to do major design work, you better make sure they have the resources, and Vought didn’t,” Aboulafia said.

In contrast, Onex moved quickly to make Spirit a stand-alone company and push forward with an initial public offering, he said.

“It was all designed that they had the adequate capital base,” Aboulafia said.

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