It would be easy—but wrong—to conclude from recent events in the aerospace industry that its globalization efforts have gone too far. To be sure, both Boeing and Airbus have discovered, in developing their new aircraft, that involving suppliers from around the world creates complex management, coordination, and design integration challenges. Nonetheless, McKinsey research indicates that the industry’s globalization remains in its infancy. China, India, and Russia are likely to emerge as significant players over the next two decades, a development that will give Western companies major short-term cost-reduction opportunities that they must capture.
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