Airbus - a case against government intervention in corporations?

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  • Thread starter Futobingoro
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  • #26
Futobingoro
From last month:

http://www.forbes.com/manufacturing...s-equity-cx_cn_0228markets29.html?partner=rss
It was predicted that France and Germany would suffer equally. Last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Jacques Chirac apparently agreed to share the burden of job cuts and restructuring, saying there should be an equitable distribution of the measures needed to get the company's house in order. Chirac added that any job losses or site closures had to entail compensation.

After this meeting, analysts always believed an equal number of French and German production sites would be shuttered under a restructuring program that was allegedly modified to appease the Germans. German officials apparently agreed to drop their opposition to production of the upcoming A350 plane being based in France in exchange for parity in the number of site closures. Berlin had signaled it would fight tooth and nail to defend German jobs in the event of a restructuring, threatening to cancel government weapons contracts with EADS if it shifted production out of Germany.

Now the final assembly of the A350 will probably be based exclusively in France, instead of being split between Germany and France as programs traditionally have been. In return, a future revamp of the single-aisle A320 plane will be assembled in Germany.
I am highly doubtful that the unprofitable/excess positions were evenly distributed between France and Germany. They may have been, but it would have been a coincidence.

Also, I am struck by the process used to decide on responsibilities for producing the A350 and the successor to the A320. These decisions do not have the appearance of judgments based upon deep analysis of economic data. It seems to me that German and French politicians sat down at a table and traded poker chips: France exchanging future single-aisle jetliner production for A350 assembly, with the German specter of cancelled defense contracts looming overhead.

It seems that you think I am opposed to multinational projects as a whole. I am not, I am simply pointing out the difference in how Boeing and Airbus juggle the needs of their multinational teams. Airbus policy seems to be largely dictated by European politics, while Boeing enjoys a greater degree of freedom in running its projects.

The 787 program involves 43 suppliers at 135 sites in over two dozen countries around the world. When was the last time you heard about bickering over the workshare on the 787?
 
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  • #27
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Personally, I think its pretty cool that they can cut a deal across international lines. Put all that nationalistic counterproductive crap aside, and try to find a sol'n in all intersts. Basically both aircraft are pretty primitive and may be the last gasp in terms of a tube fuselage, upfront wings design.
 

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