Report Says A380 Was A 'Catastrophe'
report by French senators about Airbus' parent company, EADS,
concluded bad management and too much autonomy, among other things,
were to blame for rival Boeing moving to the top spot of dominant
French senators Jean-Francois Le Grand and Roland Ries have been
investigating the company for the past six months and recommended a
bigger role Wednesday for French and German governments in it
decision making process, according to Associated Press.
The senators cited excessive autonomy, a "clumsy" management
structure and lack of surveillance by shareholders DaimlerChrysler
AG and Lagardere Groupe SCA for problems with the A380.
"The A380 was a catastrophe, both industrially and
commercially," Ries said. "We have to put an end to this management
The report's conclusions are considered strong but non-binding
advice not only to EADS, but the French and German governments as
Le Grande also said part of the overall problem was "the
competition" between former EADS executives Noel Forgeard and
Philippe Camus distracting them from the company's problems. Ries
agreed and said the power struggle caused technical difficulties
with the A380 to be overlooked.
The senators said EADS needs to concentrate on the A350 XWB,
which was redesigned last year, or its best-seller, the A320.
Another factor the senators cite as a source of trouble is the
company's unusual structure. The French government owns 15 percent,
Lagardere Groupe SCA holds 7.5 percent and Stuttgart, Germany-based
DaimlerChrysler holds 22.5 percent. DaimlerChrysler cut its stake
in the company by a third in February.
Then there's the problem with currency. The plane maker prices
its product with the US dollar, which is in a real slump and has
been for awhile. But, pays its costs in Euros, which is on the
The senators did support Airbus' massive restructuring plan that
was introduced in February. The plan, known as Power 8, saves an
estimated $2.6 billion a year by trimming more than 10,000 jobs and
other cost cutting measures, as ANN reported.
Le Grande also urged European governments to funnel more money
into aerospace research and technology, as the US does.