London: Airbus said Thursday that it had ended talks with Germany's MT Aerospace, a subsidiary of OHB Technology, regarding the sale of the Airbus sites in Nordenham and Varel and the EADS site in Augsburg. It said a "viable industrial and financial solution was not achievable."
The French aircraft manufacturer said it will continue seeking other solutions and, in parallel, proceed with the carve-out of the three sites.
It also conceded that talks with other companies on sales of plants in the UK and France, while still ongoing, are proving difficult in the current economic environment. It added that negotiations to sell the wing component and subassembly manufacturing part of its Filton plant to GKN and to form a JV with Latecoere for ownership and management of French sites Meaulte and St. Nazaire Ville will continue.
In its statement Airbus said that the volatility of the financial markets and the decline of the dollar have created "difficult market conditions that are not conducive to an easy and smooth implementation in this process."
As part of its Power8 restructuring program, Airbus and parent EADS committed to partially or completely selling off major industrial plants to "partners" that will share in the risk, development and construction of the A350 XWB.
Airbus is an EADS partner
"We want to ensure the future of our sites with strong partners who share technology, development costs and capital investments and are able to deliver large work packages at competitive cost," Airbus president and CEO Tom Enders said yesterday. "We simply could not get there with OHB."
Enders insisted that "there will be no turning back" since the "site divestment" plans are "part of a long-term business strategy to which we are fully committed." He added that Airbus will make "necessary investments" to keep the A350 program on track. It previously targeted 2013 for the aircraft's entry into service.