Paris: China's main state-owned aerospace group, the China Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC 1), has said that it will bid for all six Airbus plants that are due for auction, under a restructuring plan that intends to save the European planemaker more than €2bn (£1.35bn) a year.
Lin Zuo Ming, president of AVIC 1, said his company was bidding for all six plants, located in the UK, France and Germany. He said that if the corporation were successful in its bid, then it would try to develop these plants and make them more competitive.
Ming also mentioned that his company was also investing $400mn in a new regional jet planned by Canadian aerospace giant, Bombardier.
The move to acquire the plants is likely to spur further collaboration between AVIC 1 and Airbus, which is keen to source more of its components overseas in an effort to reduce costs, and is building an assembly plant in China for the A320 family of single-aisle aircraft.
Both Airbus and Boeing are sourcing their components from Chinese and other low-cost Asian manufacturers for their new models. AVIC 1 supplies the rudder for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing last week estimated that the global market would grow by almost 27,000 planes worth $2.8 trillion in the next 20 years, with 36% of that growth coming from Asia-Pacific.
Ming said the Chinese market alone would require 3,100 new planes in the next 10 years.
AVIC 1, which expects its sales to top $1bn in 2010 compared with $360m last year and is growing at 40% annually. It is building a new 90-seater ARJ21 regional jet, which it expects to enter service in September 2009.
In its deal with Bombardier, the Chinese will invest $400mn in Bombardier's planned new C series of fuel-efficient regional jets that could enter service in 2013.