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Airbus Challenges For Market Share On US Turf

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

12 July 2012

European aircraft manufacturing giant, Airbus has announced that it will place a manufacturing facility in the United States to assemble and deliver A320 family aircraft.

Located at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Alabama, the new assembly line will be the company’s first US-based production facility. The plans aim to boost Airbus's market share in the United States, home to its main rival Boeing.

The facility in Alabama will assemble A319, A320 and A321 aircraft with the assembly line to be operational from 2015, and the first deliveries expected in 2016. Airbus anticipates the facility will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year by 2018.

“The time is right for Airbus to expand in America,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President & CEO “The US is the largest single-aisle aircraft market in the world - with a projected need for 4,600 aircraft over the next 20 years - and this assembly line brings us closer to our customers. Mobile is now becoming part of Airbus’s global production network, joining our successful and growing assembly lines in Hamburg, Toulouse and Tianjin.”

Airbus already has a strong and growing presence in Alabama and throughout the United States. One of its most significant operations is an engineering centre also in Mobile, which employs more than 200 engineers and support staff. Presently Airbus has a total of 1,000 staff at US facilities. The new assembly line is expected to create a further 1,000 jobs.

Highlighting the mutually beneficial relationship it has with the US industry, Airbus noted that it is the largest export customer for the US aerospace industry. Since 1990, the company has spent USD127bn with US suppliers, and USD12bn in 2011 alone.

TAGS: aviation

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