This blog and others have speculated for months that Airbus could shift some civil aircraft production from France to Alabama if the Northrop Grumman/EADS team wins the KC-X tanker contract.
Here's what London's The Guardian newspaper reports today:
Airbus, the European plane maker, is considering plans to relocate production to a new plant in Alabama and other parts in the dollar zone because of the effects of the soaring euro, it emerged yesterday.
Issuing a "wake-up call" to Europe, Louis Gallois, chief executive of EADS, Airbus's parent company, warned that the continent's "industrial substance" was leaving. "A part of the European aeronautical and space industry is threatened by the evolution of the dollar and I think this is a problem with a political dimension."
Later, the reporter David Gow gets more specific quoting unnamed EADS sources:
EADS sources confirmed that Airbus could set up a new plant in low-cost Mobile, Alabama, in the southern US for the final assembly of civil aircraft - alongside the A330-based air-to-air refuelling plane for the US air force. "But a precondition would be that we win the tanker contract," they said.