Airbus has announced plans to invest several hundred million dollars in a new plant to be located in Mobile, Alabama. Once completed in three to four years the plant is expected to push out several dozen aircraft per year.
By opening a jetliner product facility Airbus becomes the second large-scale aircraft manufacturer in the United States, behind only Boeing which began making large commercial aircraft in the US in 1997.
The move to manufacturer airplanes that are “made in the USA” is an important decision for Airbus, the company currently controls just a 20% share of the “single-aisle plane” market in the United States while its global share is about equal to Boeing.
The move comes at a time when companies are seeking out the most fuel-efficient airplanes they can buy which explains the company’s push to push the A320 into further production while lowering production costs by producing the planes in the same country where they will be sold.
The news is also a positive step forward for European employees, it’s believed that the company’s new plant could create 10 European jobs for one job created in Alabama.
The move to open a new plant in Mobile, Alabama makes sense, Airbus already has nearly 200 employees at its Airbus engineering center in Mobile.
Official details for the project will be released during the company’s Monday press conference.
The move comes at a time when Airbus has cozied up to American Airlines and other US-based carriers. The company could also find itself bidding on US military contracts in the future, contracts that have went to Boeing in the past because of its US-based production locations.