McArtor outlined how the facility at Mobile Aeroplex fits into the company’s global operating strategy in a guest column published today on the AL.com web site.
“Every Airbus plane ever built was produced with American know-how,” McArtor writes. “Now, as a sign of our belief in this country, its workers, and its future, Airbus planes will also be produced in America.”
SELECTING U.S. HOME
McArtor, who was in Alabama last September to celebrate the official opening of Airbus’ first U.S. production center, also discussed why the European industrial consortium selected the site in Mobile for this critical mission.
“The new Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility at the Mobile Aeroplex in Brookley, Alabama is an aerospace industrial hub whose reach extends along the Gulf shores into Texas and across the Deep South,” he writes. “It sits amid world-class ports, roads and rails. It stands near Alabama’s many great achievements for space flight.”
McArtor added that the U.S. is the largest market for the single-aisle A320 Family aircraft that will be produced in Mobile, where Airbus already operates an engineering center. Another key reason the company selected Alabama: the skilled workforce in the region.
“Over the last decade, we came to fully appreciate the abundance of experienced aerospace workers in Alabama and the surrounding Gulf state region,” he writes. “Of the more than 300 manufacturing employees in Mobile today, over 60 percent are from the Mobile area, and an additional 25 percent from other parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. And we are pleased that more 30 percent are veterans.”
Airbus invested $600 million to build the Alabama manufacturing facility, which will deliver its first completed aircraft this year. By the end of 2017, the Mobile facility will roll out as many as 50 advanced airliners each year. (See a video showing A320 production will flow at the facility.)
McArtor said the company’s Alabama factory reflects the resurgence of the U.S. manufacturing sector, which has created 800,000 jobs since 2010. The Mobile assembly facility will employ 1,000 people at full production.
“This center of excellence is one more sign that manufacturing jobs have come back in force, and advanced industries are leading the U.S. recovery.
Airbus is proud to be a part of that story with a massive investment in the people and productivity of the United States.”
Read a 2013 guest column from McArtor on the relationship between Airbus and Alabama.