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Airbus to break ground on Alabama plant

March 27, 2013, Mobile, Ala. - Airbus is bringing all its top guns to Mobile, Ala., on April 8 for the groundbreaking of Airbus’ $600 million assembly plant.


March 27, 2013
By The Puget Sound Business Journal

That plant is expected to start delivering A320s, direct competitors
to Boeing’s 737s, by 2016. It will be Airbus’ fourth A320-series plant
globally, complementing existing plants in Toulouse, France; Hamburg,
Germany; and Tianjin, China. Boeing so far is keeping all its 737 work
in Renton.

 

Airbus has retained a significant lead in orders for the A320neo over
Boeing’s 737 Max, capturing 65 percent of the market versus Boeing’s 35
percent. This graphic illustrates the global distribution of orders.

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The Mobile plant could bring some added work to Washington-based aerospace suppliers, and in some cases could give suppliers here an entree to compete globally for A320 work.


But that could be an uphill fight, according to Airbus Vice President of Procurement David Williams,
who said in a June interview that Airbus wants to keep the same
suppliers for A320s wherever they are. This means that new suppliers to
the A320 program will have to displace already established ones.

 

Airbus already is hiring, and the Mobile plant will eventually employ 1,000.

 

Among those to be at the groundbreaking event will be Thomas Enders, CEO for Airbus parent EADS; Fabrice Bregier, president and CEO, Airbus; and John Leahy, COO Customers-Airbus, the company’s legendary marketing lead.