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UK quits Airbus, how long before Airbus quits UK?

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posted on Oct, 15 2006 @ 06:49 AM
The sale of BAE Systems 20% stake in Airbus, which has been ongoing since April, has now been completed and EADS are now sole owners of the company.

This throws up some interesting questions about Airbus' UK sites, the company has always maintained the stance that these are not mere assembly shops but centres of technical excellence and thus secure, but then Raytheon said exactly the same when it bought the BAE 125, now built in the USA as the Hawker 800, albeit with some manufacturing done in the UK at, ironically, Airbus UK.

A statement issued upon completeion of the sale, and relating to the restructuring Airbus now faces, must put this position in some dount as it specifically does not make any mention of the UK facilities, but blatantly states;

"The restructuring must be harmoniously divided between the two principal sites, I am talking about Hamburg and Toulouse, naturally taking account of the interests of all of the subcontractors which work in Germany and France on the Airbus project.”

Can we take it then that the promises made to the UK Govt, BAE and the Airbus UK workforce are now worthless empty ones?

posted on Oct, 15 2006 @ 09:17 AM

Originally posted by waynos
...Can we take it then that the promises made to the UK Govt, BAE and the Airbus UK workforce are now worthless empty ones?

Why not? Without planning to sound like "whining", BAe went the easy route and left Airbus in thin air, which may of course be benefitial from a business perspective for the coming years. Likewise, I do not expect EADS to actively support the UK sites in the long term. They will be kept up as long as it makes sense... which may be indefinately, or which may be as little as a few years until production is shifted elsewhere to streamline production. Its not like BAe had no responsibility for the faulty decisions within Airbus themselves.

As harsh as it may sound, but I don´t think these UK sites were in possession of some extraordinary knowledge and capability that could not be found elsewhere given some time. And since by now it can be expected that Airbus has to reduce output for the next decade, the UK sites are not the most illogical ones to be closed.

My personal impression anyway is that this is a stupid and harsh blow to the domestic UK aeroplane industry as a whole in the long term. The Eurofighter may well be the last airplane in whose development the UK played a significant part. Also there are alternatives to the Rolls Royce engines for various types of aircrafts emerging.

posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 06:36 AM
Bae systems has been moving more and more towards systems engineering and away from 'heavy engineering' for quite a few years now. It was only a matter of time before airbus was sold. Look out for the shipyards to be offloaded as soon as the carriers are built! (in fact they already sounded out a few US companies about buying them, a couple of years ago)

posted on Oct, 16 2006 @ 11:42 AM
Well if Germany and France are talking about cuting jobs, why not cut British jobs instead of theirs. They could move the production to Touluse in a snap.

Maybe if and a big BAE in bought by Boeing they could open a second 787 line on Britain...

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 12:29 AM
I actually mentioned the second line a while back based in the UK.

I think Airbus will pull out of the UK as soon as its politicaly possible. One factor to remember it is much less a political entity than it has been in years past. While I still belive that the the EU governments still pull the strings on EADS and Airbus, its not as strong as it once was.

Most of the articles I have read about the prblems at Airbus have stemmed from way to much fat as it were and alot of duplicated resources in the interests of workshare. In a non government corporation they will trim alot of this fat away. Without a signifigant UK corporate stake in Airbus, any in house operations will be moved out and collected in the name of efficiency.

Also, Airbus is taking a hard look at Boeing's way of basicaly outsourcing almost everything anyway so if planes are not actually built in the UK it does not mean the parts cannot be built there.

posted on Oct, 25 2006 @ 01:54 AM
In my sight, the way of thought out of UK and Euromainland are quite different. Including language, most of things from UK are more close to US, why UK aviation industry shouldn't be intergrated with US aviation industry?

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