Public perception frequently influences political dealings, and politics is at the core of any bilateral negotiation.
Airbus has had a North American presence since the late 1970s, but it was not until 1988 that the European manufacturer started to achieve a significant market share in the United States and Canada. With the arrival of the A320 family of fly-by-wire aircraft, the Airbus presence in North America was solidified. But Airbus faced unique challenges as a European company whose primary competition – Boeing – has long been an icon of American industry.
With the arrival of the A320 family of fly-by-wire aircraft, the Airbus presence in North America was solidified.
The Airbus-Boeing rivalry intensified with increased consolidation within the industry and greater market share equality. Although subsidies have always been a point of contention, with Boeing asserting that Airbus competes with an unfair advantage, the trade dispute has escalated significantly. The controversy surrounding the U.S. Air Force tanker replacement also increased the visibility of both Airbus and parent company EADS.
This visibility has its pros and cons. On one hand, it introduced Airbus to a larger audience and more fully identifies the company’s current and future offerings. On the other hand, Airbus had often been vilified in the media and by government officials as a “foreign” company that takes jobs away from American workers. That is, of course, an unfair characterization of a company that operates in an increasingly global economy.
Public perception frequently influences political dealings, and politics is at the core of any bilateral negotiation. This point had not been lost on Airbus or EADS, both of which ramped up efforts to match Boeing’s very influential rhetoric. Xenophon Strategies provided strategic counsel to assist with these endeavors.
Though Airbus North America works independently on most issues, close collaboration with Europe is vitally important to maintaining cohesion.
“The last time we worked together, Xenophon helped produce a strategic plan that ultimately transformed a bankrupt technology company with a stock option probe into a successful $2.1 billion acquisition.”