Airbus CEO Tom Enders today informed the Airbus European Works Council that the company has made good progress over the last few months in its efforts to select partners for the A350 XWB programme, who would also take over some of Airbus' current sites.
Never before in its history has the company offered such wide-ranging and long-term partnerships to any of its suppliers. The strong and positive response from several companies has been encouraging. The process for selecting site partners is progressing well. Out of the eleven initial bidders, who made an offer, five are currently retained. Airbus continues the combined site and A350 risk sharing partners (RSP) negotiations with GKN, Latecoere, Spirit, Voith and MT Aerospace. Suggestions that there are already identifiable frontrunners are untrue.
The international bidding process was announced in February and officially launched in May. It consists of an international process for the selection of partners for the Airbus sites of Filton (UK), Meaulte and St Nazaire Ville (France), Nordenham and Varel (Germany), and in parallel an international bidding process for A350 XWB first tier supplier work packages. There is also a site sale process for Laupheim (Germany) underway.
Meanwhile, EADS is close to making a decision about the incorporation of its Augsburg (Germany) site into the process. This would extend the process, as the bidders need time to adapt their offers accordingly. A decision by EADS is expected soon.
In line with Airbus' strategy to develop a network of Tier 1 suppliers to support the A350 XWB, the partners would share investment, risks but also the benefits resulting from their participation in the A350 programme. Partners would manage, invest and further develop the sites and would ensure the ongoing participation of the sites in the current Airbus programmes, the new participation in the A350 XWB programme and the potential participation in future programmes, and indeed the resulting foreseeable benefits.
The success of this process and the development of long-term Airbus partnerships are crucial for the company's future. "Announcements will only be made when the Airbus and EADS management have arrived - together with the potential partners - at concrete terms and conditions for a promising long-term partnership. Airbus is not ready to compromise the targets of its overall strategic and business goals. In other words, we will decide when we are ready", said Tom Enders
Airbus is keeping its social partners informed and updated regularly on the progress of its restructuring program called Power8.
Airbus is an EADS company.