AUDIO – Cash is king

December 17, 2008

And for Boeing Co’s customers, saving cash is becoming increasingly important.

It’s long been one of the great mysteries of the defense game about whether companies that make a lot of the stuff used for defense and security, might be able to ratchet down their pricing when, economically at least, it was a rainy day.

Because now, it’s raining buckets.

Jim Albaugh, head of Boeing’s defense business, said on Wednesday at the annual Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit that his crew was working with their customers (many of whom are strapped for cash) to create a more affordable line of products.

Now, this is not a President’s Day Sale at Macy’s. Albaugh’s planes and weapons cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars and some programs are in the multibillion-dollar range. So cost-cutting here can mean some pretty big numbers.

But Albaugh went through a number of programs that Boeing is involved in and gave some good examples of how the company was trying to save their customers some cash. He also responded to some of the concerns about the costs of some programs already in place. 

Aero and Defense is the final Reuters summit of the year. In 2008, Reuters has had 33 summits around the globe and have as many or more planned for 2009. Our previous gathering, Reuters Investment Outlook Summit, provided clients with an excellent look at how to manage through what will certainly be a challenging 2009.

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