(MOBILE, Ala.) Big plans will be announced Monday that could totally change Mobile's economy and change the future of the Gulf Coast. Local 15's source has confirmed Airbus will announce its plan to assemble A-320 single aisle passenger jets at Brookley Field in Mobile. Both the New York Times and Bloomberg reported Wednesday afternoon that Airbus intends to build its first U.S. assembly plant in Mobile.
Andrea Rothman wrote the article for Bloomberg.
"There are still negotiations on this even as we speak," said Rothman.
Industry insiders say the move makes sense for several reasons. For one, Boeing is Airbus's biggest competitor and assembling planes in Boeing's back yard will make Airbus more competitive in the U.S. market where it currently only has about 20% of the share.
"It could look better to be able to say look there's our planes coming off the runway in Alabama. This is very much an American product," said Rothman.
"It sure makes sense to be in the biggest commercial airliner market in the world and by producing in the same market that your selling into, it eliminates the problem with exchange rates," said Loren Thompson, Chief Operating Officer for Lexington Institute.
Insiders also say the company is facing a huge backlog and simply needs another assembly line.
"They're driving customers over to Boeing because they have such a large back log. If you open up Mobile in time for the A320NEO production, they could offer earlier production slots and better compete with Boeing," said Leeham founder Scott Hamilton.
Thompson also noted that Boeing dramatically underbid in the tanker contract to keep Airbus out of the states, but apparently, that strategy isn't working and Boeing is going to be stuck with low profits.