Airbus is planning to set up a new logistics center in China to coordinate its growing operations in the country.
Airbus China president Laurence Barron said, "We’ve got so much industrial activity here, we want to harmonize the transport systems for all the goods flowing in and out of China for us."
The logistics center will likely be located in Tianjin, he said. Airbus opened its first final assembly line outside of Europe in the northeastern Chinese city last year. The plant assembles A320s and delivered its first plane in June.
Airbus forecast its procurement of components and materials in China will rise to $200 million by 2010 and to $450 million by 2015. The company sourced about $70 million worth of parts and materials from China in 2007 and expects to source $140 million this year.
Laurence Barron said China’s efforts to develop its own mainline commercial jet to challenge Airbus and Boeing has made Airbus more "circumspect" in how it does business here.
Wall Street Journal Online reported that Laurance Barron said, "Maybe five years ago, we would have just signed a subcontract —here’s the design, here are the parts we want, please make them and deliver them. Now, we’ve decided to take a 20% share in a joint venture."
"In other parts of the world the financing community is struggling and there’s a lack of liquidity in certain markets," he said. "Chinese banks have come through the financial crisis pretty strongly, and they are all interested in doing more in the area of aircraft financing and aircraft leasing."
In June, Airbus and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on aircraft financing and leasing.