- Title: USA: Airbus CEO says opening U.S. plant will bring customers closer
- Date: 3rd July 2012
- Summary: MOBILE, ALABAMA, UNITED STATES (JULY 2, 2012) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) FABRICE BRÃ‰GIER, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF AIRBUS, SAYING: "Our customers were telling us, why don't you come closer to us and this is the essence of our investment is that we will get closer to them, closer to our U.S. partners who are procuring 12 billion dollars in the United States. We are the first exporter for aerospace in America and we believe it will give us another boost to get a bigger share of the upcoming market."
- Embargoed: 18th July 2012 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Business,Industry,Transport
- Reuters ID: LVABB898YQKG1RE5DOVP00ERF7H7
- Story Text: Airbus announced on Monday (July 2) plans to build a 600 million U.S. dollar manufacturing plant in the port city of Mobile, Alabama that will produce A320 passenger planes. The world's largest commercial jet-maker estimates the plant will create 1,000 jobs, creating a strategic foothold on U.S. soil while also breathing life into American manufacturing.
"Our customers were telling us, why don't you come closer to us and this is the essence of our investment is that we will get closer to them, closer to our U.S. partners who are procuring 12 billion dollars in the United States," Fabrice BrÃ©gier, President and CEO of Airbus, said at a news conference.
"We are the first exporter for aerospace in America and we believe it will give us another boost to get a bigger share of the upcoming market," he added.
The Toulouse-based company hopes to strike directly at rival Boeing on its home turf and create a springboard for future bids to win U.S. aircraft and defense deals. The deal is the result of several years of efforts by parent company EADS, Europe's largest aerospace group, to acquire an American identity.
Alabama residents hope it will lead to a reversal of fortune for their state's oldest city and only port, coming only 16 months after Airbus lost a bitterly fought 35 billion U.S. dollar contest against Boeing to build U.S. Air Force tankers that would have been put together in Mobile, and almost seven years after the city was among the places ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
But by placing the plant in the southeast, with its lower wage rates and laws that are less friendly to labor unions, Airbus' plan may not sit well with the unions who have traditionally ruled U.S. airplane manufacturing - and particularly at Boeing's main hub in Seattle. They had already fiercely opposed Boeing's move to set up a plant in South Carolina, saying it was retaliating against the unionized workers in Seattle.
Back home, Airbus is also playing with fire as its own unions weighed-in on Sunday (July 2), calling for guarantees over European jobs.
The plant is set to open in 2016. It will be the second Airbus plant outside Europe that manufactures its most popular jet.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None