The issue of delays in the delivery of the Airbus A380
Since 2005, Airbus, one of the two world’s biggest airplane manufacturers, has encountered huge delays in the delivery of the new model called A380 to its customers (see appendix 5), mainly passenger air carriers, across the world. This study analyses the characteristics of Airbus and the way it reacted to this issue from a marketing point of view and aims at giving strategic alternatives and recommendations to the aircraft producer. From a business-to-business marketing point of view, the key lesson will be the importance of trust and long-term dependency relationships in huge ventures such as the A380 project, and how trust, kept alive through clear communication, can be a mean to overcome the biggest issues.
[...] On the other side, Airbus suppliers were also very dependent on the revenues of these orders to pay the wages of their workers Analysis The organization and its position in the industry A general overview Airbus is a subsidiary of European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS). Airbus has a leading position in the aircraft industry. However, Airbus has to share this leading position with Boeing, its only strong rival. Between 1990 and 2006, the market share of annual deliveries for Airbus grew from 15 to 52% (Datamonitour, Company Profile). [...]
[...] Throughout the whole story of delays, Airbus opted for clear and transparent communication to inform customers that the delays are also in their benefit. All airlines affected had been told of the delay very early. The European aircraft supplier tried to reduce uncertainty as far as possible, even though almost everything seemed so uncertain. Airbus made their customers understand that bungling, just to respect the deadlines, is irresponsible and would surely have devastating consequences for Airbus’ and the consumer’s reputation Recommendations and Implementations As the delays resulted mainly from the internal structure of Airbus and from the supply chain management, the following recommendations mainly focus on the relationship between Airbus and its suppliers. [...]
[...] Objectives of the organization or management team The difficult context created by the multiple delays has led to the resignation of the Airbus chief executive and other important managers of the company. This instability was a backlash for the whole company. Moreover, it gave the feeling to consumers that Airbus had no clue how to tackle the issue of delays. The new management team did not manage to change the situation and additional delays were announced. However, for the company’s sake, the management team gave priority to maintain complex relationships with suppliers and consumers. [...]