French Ambassador Visits Mobile for Airbus Inauguration
On September 13 and 14, Ambassador Gérard Araud visited Mobile, Alabama, where he celebrated the inauguration of the new Airbus Group assembly line at Brookley Field along with French Consul General in Atlanta Denis Barbet, and CEO of Airbus Fabrice Bregier. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Mayor of Mobile Sandy Stimpson were also present and expressed pride in this joint initiative to promote economic development in their region.
Airbus invested $600 million in this factory, which will manufacture the A320, Airbus Group’s best-selling model. This investment will boost the region’s economy, as the new plant will employ 1,000 workers and should create more than 4,000 indirect jobs, including many in France. Ambassador Araud spoke with the Mobile area news station Local15 during the inauguration and praised the initiative, which will also attract other French corporations to invest in Alabama.
French Consul General Denis Barbet recently spoke of this boost in French investment in the region, saying that since Airbus first announced it would build a factory in Mobile three years ago, the country’s presence "has already increased with the $2 million investment of Safran and most recently the announcement by Hutchinson Corp. to open an aerospace manufacturing center of excellence in Mobile." Consul General Barbet expressed hope "to celebrate other investments between France and Alabama in the years to come."