Airbus committed to sale of six European facilities

Airbus has affirmed plans to sell six production facilities in Europe sometime in December and reportedly is considering new plants in the U.S. and Russia.

According to a Nov. 27 report posted on the Bloomberg website, Airbus Industrie (Toulouse, France) has confirmed its plans to sell six manufacturing facilities in Europe in December. The divestiture is part of Airbus’ Power8 production restructuring plan, which calls for the sharing of financial and manufacturing risk with corporate partners. Airbus is also looking to recover from losses incurred by A380 delays and the weakening dollar.

According to the report, Airbus has four bidders for plants in Germany, France and the U.K. The suitors are Spirit Aerosystems Holdings Inc., Latecoere SA, OHB Technology AG and GKN Plc, and each wants to purchase a different set of factories. German firm Voith AG withdrew an offer for three German sites in October.

Airbus is selling factories at Meaulte and Saint Nazaire in France, and the Filton plant in the U.K. The planemaker is offering plants in Varel, Nordenham and Laupheim in Germany, and Airbus parent EADS is marketing a factory in Augsburg, Germany, that primarily does work for Airbus even though it’s part of the defense division.

In other Airbus news, German business weekly WirtschaftsWoche, in a Dec. 3 report, says the airplane maker is investigating the feasibility of building a plant in the U.S. Alabama reportedly is the most likely choice for setting up Airbus’ fourth assembly plant. Further, Airbus says it believes that it could secure a contract to build tanker aircraft for the U.S. military.

The WirtschaftsWoche story also says producing planes in the U.S. would limit the impact of the strong euro on Airbus sales, but added that the company is also mulling the possibility of setting up an assembly plant in Russia.

Information: Click here for the Bloomberg report.