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经济学人:空中客车杀人美国本土市场

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Business.

商业。
Airbus
空中客车
Coming to America
杀入美国本土市场
Europe's big aircraft-maker is to open a factory in Alabama
欧洲飞机制造巨头将在阿拉巴马州建工厂
THE red imported fire ant first entered America through the port of Mobile, Alabama, in the 1930s. Being more aggressive than most native species, it soon spread across the country. On July 2nd Airbus said it would open its first jet assembly line in America in Mobile. The reaction of Boeing, the European aircraft-maker's biggest rival, suggests it fears a nasty sting from this foreign pest. And with good reason: Airbus says the factory, which will cost $600m and start delivering aircraft in 2016, will help to boost its share of America's civil-aviation market to nearly 50%, up from 20% today.
红色的火蚁作为外来物种,20世纪30年代首次从阿拉巴马州西南部港市莫比尔传入美国。它比大部分本土物种的侵略性大得多,迅速遍及全国。7月2号,空中客车宣布将在莫比尔港市兴建其在美国的第一个飞机组装厂。波音,作为空客最大的竞争对手,回应道恐怕会被这个外来的害虫狠狠咬伤,而且理由很充分:空客称其工厂造价6000万美元,2016年就开始交货,这将促使他们在美国民航市场所占的份额由今天的20%提高到将近50%。
Airbus's move seems well-timed. With the four biggest airlines in the world, America remains the largest market for civilian jets. Demand has been muted for years, usually accounting for less than 30% of orders worldwide, down from 50% in 2003. But this is likely to change. Jets flying in America are typically several years older than elsewhere. Perhaps 5,000 new aircraft may be needed in the next 20 years. The single-aisle 319s, 320s and 321s that Airbus will put together in Mobile-albeit initially at a modest rate of up to 50 a year-will challenge Boeing's popular 757.
空客的这步举措看起来时机刚刚好。美国拥有全球四大航空公司,一直是民用飞机最大的市场。近年来需求减弱,其订单经常不到全球订单的30%,而在2003年,这个比例还是50%。不过这种局面即将扭转。在美国运行的飞机通常比其他地区的机龄要老几年,未来20年大概需要5000架新飞机。空客将在莫比尔市生产大量型号为319,320和321的单过道喷气式飞机,虽然一开始是一年近50架,比例还较为和缓,但这大大挑战了常用的波音757的地位。
Earlier plans by Airbus to make planes in America were thwarted when Boeing beat it to win a large order for mid-air refuelling tankers from the Pentagon. By selling aircraft that are “made in the USA”, Airbus hopes to win over patriotic locals (just as Japanese carmakers won them over by opening factories in America in the 1980s and 1990s). American politicians have long supported Boeing against its European challenger, though it is unfair to classify Airbus as wholly European. Like Boeing, its supply chain is global. It claims, for example, to be the largest foreign customer of America's civil-aerospace industry.
波音公司曾挫败了空客早期在美国造飞机的计划,并从国防部赢得一笔很大的空中加油飞机的订单。空客公司希望通过销售“美国制造”的飞机,来争取有强烈爱国心的美国消费者(就像日本的汽车制造商曾在20世纪80年代和90年代通过在美国兴建工厂而赢得了这批消费者的青睐)。美国的政客长期以来支持波音公司以抵抗其欧洲劲敌,但是将空客定性为纯粹的欧洲公司是不公平的,就像波音公司,其供给链也是全球性的。例如,空客就声称将成为美国民航工业最大的外国客户。
Airbus says the new factory will bring it closer to its customers in America. It will also create a natural currency hedge, with more of its costs incurred in dollars rather than euros. (Aircraft, like oil, are largely priced in dollars.) Given the uncertainty surrounding the euro, such hedging is doubly wise. Ironically, Airbus will also receive subsidies from Alabama reckoned to be worth almost $160m. Airbus said it noticed what was on offer only when it investigated the subsidies paid to Boeing. (The two firms are engaged in a long dispute before the World Trade Organisation.)
空客公司称,新工厂将会拉近其与美国消费者之间的距离,还会产生自然货币对冲,因为其成本更多的是以美元结算,而非欧元。(飞机就像石油一样,大部分都是以美元定价。)考虑到欧元区的不确定性,这种对冲更为明智。讽刺的是,空客也会得到阿拉巴马州的补贴,据说有将近1600万美元。空客称,只有调查到波音公司接受的补贴才能知道州政府具体提供的是什么。(这两个公司在世贸组织关于补贴的争论已持续多年。)
Airbus's new factory is expected to create 1,000 jobs. Part of the appeal of Alabama is that it is a “right-to-work” state, where employees cannot be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. Boeing's factories are largely in closed-shop Washington state. A new Boeing factory in right-to-work South Carolina was blocked by the union-friendly National Labour Relations Board, until Boeing gave a gold-plated pay deal to its unionised workers in existing factories. So far, despite high unemployment in the EU, Airbus's European workers seem to have bought their bosses' argument that the new factory will not take jobs from Europe, but may create some by boosting sales in America.
空客公司的新工厂有望带来1000个工作岗位。阿拉巴马州吸引商家的一部分因素是其州政府保障就业权,雇工不必面临以加入工会作为受聘的条件的窘境。而波音的工厂大部分在华盛顿州,在那里工厂只雇佣工会会员。在保障就业权的南卡罗来纳州,亲工会的全国劳资关系委员会封了波音公司的一个新工厂,直到公司向现有工厂里已加入工会的员工交出一份华而不实的薪水标准。到目前为止,尽管欧盟的失业率仍居高不下,空客公司的欧洲员工似乎已相信了老板们的言论,新工厂不会造成欧洲的工作岗位流失,反而会因为美国良好的销售情况而带来更多的工作机会。
Some European politicians have interpreted Airbus's move as the latest depressing symbol of Europe's decline. That is a stretch. What is most striking is the self-confident approach to globalisation taken by Airbus, a company that over the years has suffered more than its share of petty squabbles, especially between its French and German tribes.
一些欧洲政客将空客的这一举动视为欧洲衰败的最新标志,令人十分沮丧。这种说法就夸大其词了。最令人震惊的还是空客公司这一信心十足的全球化举措,这个公司数年来经历了无数琐碎的争吵,尤其是其法国公司和德国公司之间的争执更是令人头疼。
How Boeing will respond to this rocket-blast of competition in its own backyard remains to be seen. So far it has merely grumbled that the new factory will not change the fact that Airbus has benefited from huge subsidies at home. Perhaps Boeing should open a factory in Europe? That is easier said than done. Few places in the EU can match Alabama's sweet mix of flexible working practices and southern-fried tax breaks.
波音公司在自己的地盘如何应对这场激烈的竞争令人拭目以待。到目前为止它只是抱怨就算兴建新工厂也不能改变这样的事实,那就是空客公司已经在它的地盘从巨额补贴中获益。或许波音也该在欧洲兴建工厂?这件事说起来容易做起来难,因为欧洲很少有地方能像阿拉巴马州那样,将灵活的工作方式和具有南方特色的减税措施结合的如此完美。

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