U. S. versus eu competition Policy: The Boeing-McDonnell Douglas Merger




старонка2/9
Дата канвертавання19.04.2016
Памер208.42 Kb.
1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

History of Consolidation of Firms in the U.S. Market


The United States, at the beginning of 1960, had 12 commercial aircraft manufacturers. By 1980, following the exit of several firms from commercial aircraft production, only three remained: McDonnell Douglas, Boeing and Lockheed.13 By 1981, Lockheed’s L-1011 Tristar project had been a dismal failure, costing the company $2.5 billion over 13 years and forcing it to exit the market as well. Lockheed’s exit left Boeing and McDonnell Douglas as the only two U.S. commercial aircraft manufacturers.14
Following Lockheed’s exit from the commercial market, Boeing’s share of the U.S. commercial market steadily increased. During the late 1980s, Boeing’s market share gains were coming at the expense of McDonnell Douglas; by 1993, McDonnell Douglas’ share of the U.S. market had fallen to less than 20 percent.
U.S. Commercial Aircraft Shipments and Market Share, 1975-1996 (selected years)




1975

1985

1989

1993

1995

1996




Sales

Share

Sales

Share

Sales

Share

Sales

Share

Sales

Share

Sales

Share

Boeing

169

62.1

200

73.3

279

70.1

330

80.9

206

80.5

218

81.0

McDonnell

78

28.7

71

26.0

119

29.9

78

19.1

50

19.5

51

19.0

Lockheed

25

9.2

2

0.7

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

Total U.S. Shipments

272




273




398




408




256




269





Source: Aerospace Industries Association
Lockheed joined Martin, Northrop and Grumman as firms that had failed in the commercial aircraft market and chose to focus instead on defense-related military aircraft. While many of the production methods are similar between military and commercial aircraft – nearly every commercial producer began as a military contractor – the defense business is seen as less risky. Not only does the U.S. government finance the development of military programs, shouldering much of the risk on behalf of defense firms, but the government is also a guaranteed customer of the end product, in contrast to the competitive open market for a finite number of commercial aircraft orders.
Moving toward defense-related businesses also diversifies the operations of an aerospace firm. Just prior to announcing its merger with McDonnell Douglas, Boeing purchased Rockwell, a major defense contractor, in part to diversify its business activities and prevent the cyclical commercial aircraft market from causing major swings in the company’s earnings.
The Creation of Airbus

Toward the end of the 1960s, European aircraft manufacturers began to fear that continued competition among themselves could result in continued American dominance in the industry. European firms and governments determined that only a coordinated approach could bring about a viable product. This led industry and governments to develop a more cooperative approach. As early as 1967, plans were emerging for the joint production of a European aircraft under a consortium called Airbus. Following the failed collaboration between British Aircraft Corporation and French manufacturer Sud Aviation on the Concorde project, in which only 16 aircraft were ever produced at a total cost of £1 billion, the British government was leery of collaborating on another major commercial aircraft program. France, however, saw the Airbus project as an opportunity to strengthen its industrial leadership role in Europe. Germany also saw Airbus as a means for establishing economic leadership in Europe, as well as aiding in the recovery of the German industrial sector.15


Airbus Industrie officially came into being on December 18, 1970, set up as a Groupement d’Intérêt Économique (GIE) under French law, little more than a shell company in which each member pools capital and receives profits commensurate to the proportion of capital provided. A GIE is not required to pay taxes on profits; it allocates its profits to its members in proportion to their participation rights. While not required to make its books public, all members of the Airbus Industrie GIE, however, did publish their accounts.16 The first Airbus aircraft, the A300, was initially comprised of parts produced by French manufacturer Aérospatiale, German manufacturer Deutsche Aerospace and British manufacturer Hawker-Siddeley; the only production role for Airbus Industrie was final assembly at its plant in Toulouse, France. The main responsibilities of Airbus Industrie were marketing, sales, and support.
The British overcame some initial reluctance and formally became part of the consortium, along with the Spanish manufacturer CASA. By 1978, the membership of Airbus had stabilized, with British Aerospace (formed by the 1977 merger between British Aircraft Corp. and Hawker-Siddley) holding a 20 percent stake, Deutsche Aerospace and Aérospatiale (itself formed by a merger of 12 different firms between the 1930s and 1970) each holding a 37.9 percent stake, and CASA holding a 4.2 percent stake.17
The goal of the Airbus project was to spawn a resurgence of the European aerospace industry by creating a viable competitor to Boeing and McDonnell Douglas. The A300 was designed to fill a niche among the offerings of other commercial aircraft producers, namely, a medium-range wide-body twinjet equipped for 266 passengers. While it found customers initially unwilling to submit orders for the A300, it instituted several sales tactics – including “fly before you buy,” a program which allowed reluctant customers to use the A300 before committing to firm orders – that resulted in moderate success for the A300 program.18
Airbus followed the A300 with the A310, a smaller derivative of its first wide-body aircraft, equipped for 218 passengers over a similar range. Thus, by 1982, Airbus was on its way to producing a family of aircraft; by using similar components and production platforms for several different aircraft, Airbus was able to reduce development and production costs. This became apparent with development of the narrow-body A319/A320/A321 family of aircraft, which also shared the same cockpit design and marked the first use of “fly-by-wire” technology in large commercial aircraft. Fly-by-wire, a revolutionary invention originally used in military aircraft, uses computers to control the aircraft through a simple joystick, rather than using rudder pedals and a control wheel to mechanically fly the aircraft. Not only did the new technology save weight by replacing heavier mechanical apparatus with lighter-weight computers, it was also instrumental in Airbus’ strategy of creating families of aircraft. The same computers could be used in different aircraft, cutting costs and providing pilots with similar controls and performance characteristics over several types of aircraft.19

1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9


База данных защищена авторским правом ©shkola.of.by 2016
звярнуцца да адміністрацыі

    Галоўная старонка