Airbus planned to build its tanker for the USAF were it selected for the program in Mobile, Alabama, but hopes for a facility were dashed when Boeing was selected as the surprise winner of the competition. But all may not be lost. The industry rumor mill is abuzz that a major order for the A330 freighter may be on the horizon, and that it will be substantial enough to justify opening another assembly facility in the US. It is also abuzz about Boeing massively cutting prices on its 767-300F to prevent this from happening – so it will be interesting to see who wins this intense competition.
The prospect of assembling an airplane that already has significant American content in the US will make future competitions quite interesting, as the “Made in USA” label on total content would be about the same for a Boeing or EU-made Airbus – both using global supply chains with final assembly in the US.
A great workforce, competitive labor rates, and the ability to offset currency risk with the dollar/Euro ration should bring significant benefits to both Airbus and Alabama. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this job creation action takes place.