Boeing Co. unveils three new units for doing business

Herald staff

SEATTLE — The Boeing Co. has created three new business units: one focused on bringing the Internet and entertainment to air travelers, another aimed at improving air traffic control, and a third to expand the company’s financial services.

The Internet and entertainment unit, Connexion by Boeing, is intended to bring live TV and two-way satellite connections to each aircraft seat, enabling users to receive and send e-mail and tap into numerous sources of news and entertainment.

The air traffic control unit, Air Traffic Management, will develop a proposal for the U.S. government to help solve the nation’s worsening air traffic woes.

The expanded financial services unit, Boeing Capital Corp., is a 100-person operation based in Renton. It is a lending and leasing organization that manages a portfolio of more than $4 billion in assets.

  • Firestone fallout: Ford Motor Co. said for the first time Wednesday that the furor over Firestone tires has driven down sales of Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles, with October sales down 16 percent from a year ago.

  • Wednesday prices: Gold sold for $264.50 a troy ounce, silver sold for $4.77 and platinum sold for $578.40.

  • Manufacturing slows: Higher interest rates and energy prices caused manufacturing activity to decline for the third month in a row, the National Association of Purchasing Managers said. Its purchasing index fell to 48.3 percent in October, below analysts’ forecasts of 49.5 percent. The NAPM index uses 50 percent as a break-even point, with anything above signaling economic growth and anything below indicating contraction.
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