Thursday, 28 June 2012

Airbus To Build A320's In The US

Airbus' popular A320 model could soon have 'Made in America' stickers on them as the European Airframe Manufacturer plans a new factory in Mobile, Alabama according to the New York Times.

Airbus plans to invest several hundred million dollars in the new plant which could eventually build dozens of the very popular, 150-seat A320 each year according to sources with knowledge of the project. In doing so Airbus would directly challenge arch-rival Boeing on their home turf and allow them to increase the jets supply, supporting an ever increasing demand.

An 'official' announcement regarding the plans is expected as early as Monday 2 July 2012, although Airbus spokesperson, Stefan Schaffrath denied any announcement was imminent.

Airbus hopes that by building their popular A320 model on American soil, it may encourage US airlines, in need of renewing their aging fleets, to buy it, as well as saving huge sums of money by utilising non-union, American workers and the US Dollar.

Airbus currently lags far behind Boeing with just a 20% share of the US narrowbody market.

Photo Credit: Airbus

UPDATED: 01 July 2012
Confirmation of announcement date and time. Boeing response to the news.

Despite Stefan Schaffrath (Airbus spokesperson) denying that any announcement is due, Airbus indeed plans to make such an announcement at approximately 10:00 CDT on Monday 2 July. The announcement will include details such as the $600 million investment, the creation of up to 2,500 jobs and the fact that the Final Assembly Line (FAL) will be used for all members of the A320 Family (A319, A320, A321 CEO/NEO).

In response to the news, Boeing spokesman Charlie Miller wrote in an email...

"While it is interesting once again to see Airbus promising to move jobs from Europe to the United States, no matter how many are created, the numbers pale in comparison to the thousands of US jobs destroyed by illegal subsidies, which Airbus and its European government underwriters have failed to remove to the satisfaction of the US government and in direct contravention of international trade law," - Statement Source: Reuters.

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