Boeing: 737 Won’t Necessarily be Built in Renton

Although it is home to the most popular commercial airplane in history, Boeing officials have refused to confirm that the newly re-engined 737 will be built in Renton, Washington.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports that Renton isn’t necessarily the only place Boeing is looking to build its future 737.

It seemed a no-brainer that Boeing would assemble the re-engined 737s in Renton, given that changes would be limited to engines and some associated reworking of the fuselage, landing gear and other systems.

Not so fast, Boeing Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said during the company’ssecond-quarter earnings call Wednesday. “We haven’t made the final decision where we’re going to produce the re-engined airplane. … We have other options and we’re going to study them all. …

“Obviously Renton has a strong case but there is significant investment that we’d have to make someplace,” McNerney added. “Until we understand exactly what the plane will be and at what rate we will have to build it I think we have to study that and figure it out.”

There was a time where it seemed unthinkable that Boeing would build a commercial plane outside of Washington but with occasional labor disputes and a second 787 assembly line constructed in South Carolina, it certainly isn’t a foregone conclusion that Renton workers will be building the new plane when Boeing officially announces its plans later this year.

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