According to The New York Times, “Airbus, the European plane maker, plans to build its first assembly line in the United States in Mobile, Ala., in an aggressive foray into the world’s largest market for single-aisle airplanes…”
Yellowhammer learned of the Airbus’s intentions several months back but was asked not to release details until they became public. As word began to spread quickly behind-the-scenes, we released a hint in last week’s Rumors & Rumblings when we said, “Rumor out of D.C. this week is that EADS is prepping a big announcement with regard to Alabama. EADS is the European parent company of multiple aviation corporations including Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter. The timetable on the announcement is uncertain.”
The Airbus/Boeing rivalry is getting ready to really heat up. Airbus is making a several hundred million dollar bet that the “made in America” tag will pursuade U.S. based airlines to chose their A320 aircraft over Boeing’s 737.
The Mobile Press-Register has the info on the A320 aircraft:
- More than 8,400 Airbus A320 family aircraft have been ordered and more than 5,100 have been delivered to over 360 customers and operators worldwide, making it the world’s best selling commercial jetliner.
- It is ranked as the world’s fastest-selling jet airliner family and as the best-selling single-generation aircraft program.
- Since its launch in December 2010, the A320neo has received more than 1,000 orders from such carriers as American Airlines, AirAsia, Scandinavian Airlines, TransAsia Airways, IndiGo, LAN Airlines, and GoAir.
A Yellowhammer source with knowledge of the deal was adamant that Alabama’s status as a right-to-work state played a major role in Airbus’s decision to locate in Mobile. The New York Times seems to concur, “By assembling the planes with nonunion American workers, and in using dollars, Airbus also stands to reduce production costs,” The Times said yesterday.
That’s music to the ears of Alabamians who are starting to see the fruits produced by their new pro-economic growth leadership. Conversely, this is yet another blow to the pro-illegal immigration crowd who are still trying to perpetuate the lie that Alabama’s immigration policy is deterring foreign investment.
We’ll have more on this as details emerge.