Embraer can survive solo, but outlook mixed after Boeing breakup

Detailed analysis shows new opportunities and old challenges for the Brazilian manufacturer after Boeing calls off joint venture.

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Release Date
May 1, 2020
Embraer can survive solo, but outlook mixed after Boeing breakup
  • After the collapse of the deal to establish a joint venture with Boeing, Embraer faces challenges deeper than the loss of a large partner to boost sales.
  • Slow sales of the E2 were weighed down by the now-defunct deal and are exaggerated by a shallow backlog with escalated delivery risk.
  • There remain bright spots for Embraer, particularly with a monopoly in  the U.S. regional market and new interest in smaller jets in the wake of COVID-19

Author’s disclosure: Courtney Miller worked for Bombardier Aerospace for 11 years, including competing head-to-head against Embraer in sales campaigns involving the CRJ, C Series, and E-Jets.

The collapse of Embraer’s joint venture agreement with Boeing changed the strategic landscape for the Brazilian manufacturer overnight. With Boeing abruptly walking away from the 22-month old deal, new focus has been placed on the plane maker and its ability to survive without a large partner.

At its outset, the deal was touted as a necessity for Embraer’s new E2 product to compete with Airbus and its recent purchase of the C Series program from Bombardier, rebranding the jet the A220. That strategic necessity for Embraer came with the expectation that the company could not survive the fight against Airbus, and also eventually China, on its own. The collapse of the deal necessarily raises further questions about the viability of Embraer itself and its future without the mass of Boeing behind it.

Related: The end of Boeing Brasil Commercial and the re-birth of Embraer into the unknown

From this scenario emerges a new market position for Embraer. This TAC Analysis dives into the Brazilian manufacturer’s new competitive position, why the loss of opportunities from the failed venture may not be as bad as feared, yet why renewed exposure to Embraer’s current commercial standing may prove more difficult than first thought.

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