If until now they were relying on their production line from Europe, the Airbus Group will open their first jetliner production facility from the United States this week. This move is a step forward in their attempt of seeing a bigger market share and lower production costs, as stated by the Wall Street Journal, alongside bolstering their presence in the United States.
The facility is placed in Mobile, Alabama, and will create 1000 new workplaces, after Airbus made an investment of around $600 million. Besides this, it should attract new aerospace suppliers to the South Eastern part of the US.
“We wanted to make the U.S. one of our industrial homes,” Allan McArtor,chairman and chief executive of Airbus’s U.S. unit, said in an interview.
Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that the Europan company is also challenging Boeing with this move. Over the past years, they were in a direct rivalry on the market with a total value of over $80 billion.
Apparently, the building of the first Airbus jets from the new plant, A320 models, started back in July and they will be delivered to North American customers. The same number of aircrafts is already produced in Tianjin, China, which is currently the largest aviation market.
Deliveries should start next year and until 2018, the production line should be able to make four aircrafts per month, according to an official statement.
WSJ also states that initially, Airbus, based in Toulouse, France, picked the location for their refueling plane program, then establishing a relationship that move to commercial aviation, after the contract was lost in favor of their competitors, Boeing.
The new plant from Alabama is Airbus‘ fourth location and it should give them greater flexibility to “ratchet output up, or down, while saving on land, energy and labour”, said Michel Merluzeau, vice president for aerospace strategy and business development with consultant Frost and Sullivan.