What’s left for Boeing to sell to Australia?

Boeing HQ.jpgOn Monday commenced Boeing’s week-long media tour of its Australian operations. Boeing and its partners are undertaking some interesting and worthwhile projects in Australia ranging from UAVs to composites, the big-ticket items in aviation’s future (check back later this week for updates on those).

Australia is also home Boeing’s largest presence outside of America with 2,800 employees, namely due to a large military defence presence that is now posing a serious quandary to Boeing: Boeing has sold to the Australian government Super Hornets, C-17s, Wedgetails, P-8s, Chinooks, and more. In fact Boeing has sold everything it possibly can to Australia. So what’s left to sell?

More. More of what Australia already has–and doesn’t seem to want more of.

Boeing has said Australia could benefit from more Super Hornets, but Canberra says otherwise.

Changes brought by the Obama administration “prompted the company to took at new directions” Boeing Australia & South Pacific President Ian Thomas said in a briefing about his company’s defence products.

Boeing is now ramping up its effort to sell aircraft to other countries in the Asia Pacific region, such as Super Hornets to India and Japan.

But these sales efforts are compounded by an acrimonious series of delays and changes in the larger Boeing company, which Boeing is publicly and directly acknowledging in hopes of letting potential customers know it has changed.

“We are increasingly confident we’ll deliver what we sold,” Thomas said.

“We were all disappointed when we started disappointing the customer,” VP Australia Business Development for Boeing Defense Space & Security Rick McCrary said.

Multiple talks and PowerPoints highlighted recent aircraft that have met every milestone and in the case of the Super Hornet were delivered early (the Wedgetail is another matter).

There are a number of international journos on this trip, including some from the above countries Boeing is aiming to sell products to. (Also joining is Flightglobal’s Washington, D.C.-based defence editor Steve Trimble, author of our TheDEWLine blog.)

Boeing is confident of its Super Hornet chances in India and likely will have success elsewhere in the region. But in Australia can Boeing sell more aircraft, and in doing so find a way to have its cake, eat it, and bake another?


Follow Will Horton and Steve Trimble on Twitter for updates all week long.

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