CSeries: the assembly line provided in Alabama is “unlikely”, according to Boeing

Photo: Brad Nettles Associated Press
According to Boeing, Bombardier “doesn’t have enough orders for the CSeries aircraft in order to maintain a full production at Mirabel” in the foreseeable future.

It is “extremely unlikely” that Airbus and Bombardier are building an assembly line of family CSeries in Alabama, because such a strategy “would not make any economic sense,” says Boeing in a document filed in Washington.


Boeing, which alleges that Bombardier has benefited from government support to sell planes at a discount to the carrier Delta, took advantage of a request for an opinion from Washington, the subject of the agreement-Airbus-Bombardier to repeat that it was a tactic to avoid any penalties at the border.


In the wake of the agreement announced on 16 October by Bombardier and Airbus, which has taken control of the CSeries program in exchange for its expertise in the sale and maintenance, the u.s. department of Commerce has asked stakeholders of its investigation to decide.


“The only reason to perform any form of assembly in the United States would attempt to circumvent the countervailing duty and anti-dumping duties which arise out of the investigations, has written to Boeing in its response submitted on Monday to the secretary of Commerce, and Wilbur Ross. But even as a workaround, this is doomed to failure. Bombardier would be important for the CSeries aircraft assembled in whole or in part in the United States, these two cases within the tags of the investigations. “


Surveys of Washington began this summer following a complaint of Boeing, filed in April 2017. The department of Commerce announced at the end of September and early October of the countervailing and anti-dumping duty of around 300 %, which quadruplerait the price of the aircraft eventually delivered to Delta. These decisions are preliminary.


American content


Bombardier has already said that more than half of the parts used for the assembly of the CSeries aircraft in Mirabel are sourced from american suppliers. During a recent conference call with analysts, the president, Alain Bellemare, has said that they contained more than planes for Boeing 787 aircraft.


When Airbus has indicated that it would expand its facilities in Mobile, Alabama, to assemble the CSeries aircraft, many have seen a potential blow to the case of Boeing.


According to Boeing, Bombardier, and the partnership CSeries Aircraft (SCACS) “do not have enough orders for the CSeries aircraft in order to maintain a full production at Mirabel” in the foreseeable future.


The proposed transaction between Airbus and Bombardier should be finalized in the second half of 2018, added the company, based in Seattle. “Same here, we will not know the nature or the extent of the work […] that could be conducted in Mobile. It would take years to implement this decision. […] The joint venture and the conceptual designs for Alabama are not relevant to investigations. “


The u.s. market is particularly interesting for the CSeries, an aircraft single-aisle 100-to 150 seats presented as a more economic, sophisticated and quiet. The command of Delta, announced at the beginning of 2016, covers 75 CS100 aircraft, a potential transaction of US $5.6 billion, according to the posted price. It also has an option on 50 CS100 or CS300 additional.


Delta is of the opinion that the complaint of Boeing does not take the road, as the Seattle-based company had no aircraft to put in the size of devices that sought Delta. In addition, no aircraft has been imported and delivered to date, said Delta in a document filed in Washington on Monday.


Purpose of the survey


For its part, Bombardier has argued Monday that the period covered by the survey of Washington was before the announcement with Airbus. It would therefore be illogical for the department of Commerce be taken into account in the framework of a final decision on the countervailing duty and anti-dumping duties, according to Bombardier.


Both of these final decisions are expected next month.

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