Bell Streamlines Product Line to Better Align
with Customer Demands
Fort Worth, Texas, (January 24, 2008) - Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced that it is optimizing its commercial product line to better serve its customer base and accelerate deliveries of its high-demand aircraft.
Bell is seeing tremendous demand for its 412, 407 and new 429 commercial products, and is taking steps to transform itself into a stronger, more streamlined company. Bell is increasing its production capacity while terminating production of its 206B3, 427, 430 and 210 helicopter models. All current customer commitments will be met through 2010. Like all Bell products, whether they are currently being manufactured or not, each of these models will continue to be supported by Bell's customer support network known around the world for its unparalleled service that keeps the industry's largest installed base flying everyday.
Bell President and CEO Dick Millman stated, Our most recent analysis of the marketplace has indicated an increased demand for our 407 and 412 commercial helicopters, along with our outstanding new 429 model. We are fully booked on these models until 2010. Consequently, we are both significantly increasing our overall capacity - and eliminating production of some lower volume products. At the same time we are continuing to provide our number one rated customer support. We know that this is the best path forward to meet our customers' needs.
Analysis of its internal structures has yielded a more strategic allocation of resources and real-time decision-making that Bell anticipates will enable it to deliver a larger number of commercial helicopters each year.
Bob Fitzpatrick, Bell's senior vice president for Marketing and Sales said, When we looked at the marketplace, we identified important trends in the market segments we serve. The data validated that the capabilities of our most popular models, along with our new product offerings, are well matched to meet market needs and we expect will continue to ensure Bell's strong competitiveposition.
Bell is a customer-focused company and we are aligning our capacity to fulfill our customer requirements as quickly as we can. The decision to eliminate these four products was difficult, but we feel our remaining product line-up along with new products in our development pipeline will benefit our customers and position the company for continued growth, Fitzpatrick added.
About Bell Helicopter
Bell Helicopter is an industry-leading producer of commercial and military, manned and unmanned vertical lift aircraft and the pioneer of the revolutionary tilt rotor aircraft. Globally recognized for world-class customer service, innovation and superior quality, Bell's global workforce serves customers flying Bell aircraft in more than 120 countries.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a $13.2 billion multi-industry company operating in 34 countries with approximately 44,000 employees. The company leverages its global network of aircraft, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company , Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Fluid & Power, Textron Systems and Textron Financial Corporation. More information is available at www.textron.com.
Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. Post Office Box 482, Fort Worth, TX 76101
Forward-looking Information: Certain statements in this release are forward-looking statements and speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the statements, including but not limited to the following: [a] changes in worldwide economic and political conditions that impact demand for our products, interest rates and foreign exchange rates; [b] the interruption of production at our facilities or at our suppliers� facilities; [c] the timing of new product launches and certifications of new aircraft products; [d] the occurrence of slowdowns or downturns in customer markets in which our products are sold or supplied; [e] changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellation of orders; [f] the launching of significant new products or programs which could result in unanticipated expenses; [g] changes in national or international government policies on the export and import of commercial products; and [h] bankruptcy or other financial problems at major suppliers that could cause disruptions in our supply chain.