C series, the transition from Bombardier to Airbus

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Even before it took control of the C Series program on July first, the reassuring effects of Airbus’ presence have already begun to have an impact on the morale of Bombardier employees in Mirabel.

From the point of view of the assembly line, there will be little difference for employees who will come to work on July 3rd. It should be noted that C Series Limited Partnership was established on July 1, 2016 and at that time all C Series assets and liabilities were transferred into it. This means that the building that houses the assembly line belongs to the limited partnership. For the interior finish, the C Series uses common spaces with the CRJ and a rent or a proportional share of the costs has probably been negotiated.


Since the inception of the Partnership, Bombardier has provided administrative support services such as human resources management for a fee; some of these services will still be provided by Bombardier after July 1st. As Bombardier was at the helm of the limited partnership, the transfer of information and workflow for management, accounting and billing services was seamless. The arrival of Airbus with a different culture and methods will require more adaptation effort on both sides, but this is feasible and should succeed.


The hardest part to integrate will be for sure the accounting and finance; for most of us, the need to group together the purchase of bolts and rivets in the same expense category is a matter of no importance. But for the management of the C series finances and its cost, this is essential, because Airbus must have a clear picture of the items of expenditure in order to reduce production costs. It is no coincidence that Bombardier’s Vice President Finance, Jon Di Bert, will be responsible for the finances of C Series Limited Partnership. His role will be critical to transitioning the limited partnership’s finances to align with Airbus’ finances.


On July 4th there will be a day of celebration in Mirabel to mark the transition; subsequently, Airbus also planned a ceremony in Toulouse on July 10th. Then there will be Farnborough where all expect new orders and the new name of the C Series (the A200?) to be unveiled. In fact, the first order announcement made by Airbus will allow it to draw a line on the past and realize its grip on the C Series. On the other hand, the public opinion seems with hopes of orders of C Series very high on the part of Airbus by the current times, if it is true that the sales force of Airbus is impressive, it is necessary to remember the C Series market is much smaller than that of the A320.

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