Airbus will invest $600 million to open its first US manufacturing facility to assemble A320 Family aircraft at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, Alabama, creating an estimated 1,000 full-time jobs.
Airbus officials said the assembly line is part of its strategy to enhance its global competitiveness by meeting the growing needs of its customers in the United States and elsewhere. Airbus anticipates by 2018 the facility will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year. Assembly line construction will begin in summer 2013, with production starting in 2015. First aircraft produced at the Mobile plant will be delivered in 2016.
"The time is right for Airbus to expand in America," said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and CEO. "The U.S. is the largest single-aisle aircraft market in the world, with a projected need for 4,600 aircraft over the next 20 years, and this assembly line brings us closer to our customers. Mobile is now becoming part of Airbus' global production network, joining our successful and growing assembly lines in Hamburg, Toulouse and Tianjin."
"This decision is great news for our industry partnerships in the U.S., and it supports Airbus' strategy on several fronts," Bregier added. "This facility creates new manufacturing jobs and further enhances the partnership between Airbus, its suppliers and their employees, a very large percentage of which are located here in the United States. We and the supplier partners with whom we work will be establishing a new aerospace center of competency in a region that has endured great difficulty in recent years.
"When Airbus aircraft take to the skies, our pride and workmanship will soar along with them," Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said. "This project will create 1,000 stable, well-paying jobs that the people of this area need and deserve. Airbus has recognized all that this state can offer expanding industries, and the company is making a significant new investment in Alabama.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby said, " Mobile has long been a hub for world class shipbuilding and it will now become a critical node for the U.S. aerospace industry as well."
"It has been a long road and a lot of work, but we're elated to bring this project to reality in Mobile," said the city's Mayor, Sam Jones.
"This shows the value of developing and maintaining relationships for the long term," said Troy Wayman, vice president of economic development for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. "Team Mobile did not give up after the tanker project went away and EADS and Airbus never gave up on Mobile."
While officials did not disclose details of the incentive package offered the firm, news organizations quoting multiple government sources reported Airbus would receive around $100 million in tax breaks to open its facility in Mobile Alabama.