Airbus to build 1st US assembly plant in Alabama
by Melissa Nelson-Gabriel, Associated Press
July 02, 2012 02:30 PM | 1238 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier walks away from a JetBlue Airbus A320 aircraft at Brookley Field after announcing that Airbus will establish its first assembly plant in the United States in Mobile, Ala., on Monday.<br>The Associated Press
Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Bregier walks away from a JetBlue Airbus A320 aircraft at Brookley Field after announcing that Airbus will establish its first assembly plant in the United States in Mobile, Ala., on Monday.
The Associated Press
slideshow
MOBILE, Ala. — In the battle to dominate the global aviation industry, European aerospace giant Airbus announced its first assembly plant in the United States on Monday, a symbolic and significant step in the competition with archrival Boeing.

The French-based company said the Alabama plant is expected to cost $600 million to build and will employ 1,000 people when it reaches full production, likely to be four planes a month by 2017.

“We are going to create great jobs and generate growth right here,” Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said at the convention center in Mobile, where many of the 2,000 people in attendance waved American flags as music played in the background.

“We know in aerospace, when we create one job, there are about four related jobs so we could bring as many as 5,000,” Bregier said at a later news conference. “The management to the blue collars will be 100 percent American.”

Boeing already has a big presence in Alabama, employing 2,700 people in defense and rocket operations.

Airbus planned to build refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force in Alabama, but its parent company, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., lost the contract to Boeing in 2011.

While Airbus has had parts plants in the U.S. before, a full-fledged plane-making factory is a more significant presence and could help it boost its share of U.S. commercial and defense contracts.

The Airbus plant advances the company’s strategy of expanding production outside its home base. The company, jointly run by French and German management and with plants in several European countries, wants to expand in China and India as well as the United States.

The Alabama plant is also a way for Airbus to save face after losing the Pentagon tanker contract.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides