Airbus Breaks Ground for Plant in Mobile, Ala.
In a groundbreaking ceremony on April 8, executives, dignitaries, and community leaders gathered to mark the beginning of construction for the Airbus aerospace company’s new $600 million manufacturing plant in Mobile, Ala.
Called the A320 Family Assembly Line, the plant, set to open for production in 2015, will build the company’s flagship A320 airplane and similar models.
The new site will expand Mobile’s Brookley Aeroplex, a hub for the aviation industry. The site will act as the company’s first U.S.-based production facility. The new plans will enhance Airbus’ existing presence at the hub, where its Engineering Center now conducts operations with a 200-person staff.
During a speech made on the new factory’s grounds, Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier described the reasons for his company’s expansion. "Our customers need more aircraft that cut fuel burn, emissions, and operating costs. With this assembly line we will be able to meet our customers’ needs at their doorstep, in addition to the worldwide demand for these efficient aircraft," he said.
- Airbus President & CEO Fabrice Brégier (at left) and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley
Mr. Brégier also touched on the unique opportunities that having a North American factory will offer. "When this assembly line opens, we will be the only [company] to assemble aircraft in Asia, the Americas and Europe.”
The plant will reach full productivity in 2016 when it will produce four aircraft per month. Some 1,000 jobs will be created directly through the site, while indirect economic benefit will boost the local economy via its property, retail and other markets.
In addition to its presence in Alabama, Airbus Americas operates in Florida, Kansas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Its headquarters are located in Herndon, Va.
With a current U.S. workforce of over 1,000 employees, the Alabama production center will effectively double the company’s American jobs.