Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Though it is doubtful that anyone ever believed that Boeing could not overcome its problems with the Dreamliner's batteries, the problems definitely gave them hell. Could it really have been said that Boeing had got Airbus on the ropes? Not really. Anybody can say anything, but that statement would not have been true if anyone had tried to assert it. No. It was Boeing who put itself on the ropes with the Dreamliner. And how did it do that? Outsourcing, that's how. The Dreamliner has two million parts, and many of them were outsourced to other countries and cultures that have different operating cultures to America - or should I say Boeing, and that was one part of the problem. The other part was the fact that some of the parts outsourced for manufacture, didn't fit or easily connect to the corresponding parts that they were made for, and had to be remade. In one of President Obama's pledges to the American people, he said he was going to give breaks - tax or otherwise, to those American companies who had moved jobs abroad, to bring those jobs back to America. I always thought that the Dreamliner could have easily been made totally at home, even if all the fifty states had to contribute to its production. A lot of jobs and technologies could have been created, and the foundations for future innovative aircraft would have been laid,ready to be adapted for whatever else was to come. However, it doesn't seem to matter today, seeing that Wall street is currently trying to hit the 1500 mark, the highest it has ever been.It just goes to show how much better things could have been for the Dreamliner and the Dow, and America in general.
But I digress. Why was it back in 2005, that Boeing had Airbus on the ropes?
Well, Boeing didn't really have Airbus on the ropes. Airbus/EADS got themselves there. It was the squabbling between the French and the Germans parties in the set up.It was noted by onlookers how curious it was, that Airbus and EADS had time to quarrel and fight, when it should have been putting its energies into strategizing, but there you go.
Squabbles and infighting basically. These are set against the backdrop of claims by the Americans, that Airbus was being subsidised by the European governments, and counter claims by Europe, that Boeing was being supported by tax breaks from the American Government,Basically. The Americans and the Europeans tried to take each other to the cleaners. The World Trade Organisation, and the European Commission were being employed to brandish their big sticks and wave them about threateningly at the warring parties. Both sides stood to lose billions in repaying illegal subsidies. It's interesting to note, that while France and Germany were jockeying for positions of leadership in the Airbus parent company and quarrelling bitterly with each other, that America decided to deal the 'low blow' of filing the claim against Europe's Airbus and EADS. It is also equally interesting to note, that with the advent of the counter-claim by Europe, and the potential losses that both sides could have sustained,meant that America could have shot itself in the foot, trying to spite Airbus/EADS.
I think this all goes to put ominous headlines into perspective, and to show that they are reflexive, applying to either party, be it in Europe or America. It is only now that the Dreamliner will hopefully emerge from 'quarantine' into business, after months of delay, just as Airbus did with the A380.
It must be a shock to all concerned that as of today's date, I saw a ticker tape headline on the BBC news 24, that they may never find out why the problems with Dreamliners batteries existed. It seems that problem may never be solved. Who would have thought it?
In the eight years since the ominous headline about Boeing having Airbus on the ropes, the fortunes of both have been fluid and changeable. Airbus has gone on to produce its prestigious A380, though not without its problems, while the Dreamliner has had issues with its batteries which could be unsolvable.

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A380 taking off