Dropping EADS for Airbus Group

The move to drop the acronym EADS for Airbus Group is being made out by some media to be a major step that better positions Airbus to compete with Boeing. This is a stretch.

The name change simply reflects reality: Airbus is the dominate member of the company. It also does away with the acronym, which many people mispronounced as “eeeds” rather than how it was supposed to be said (E-A-D-S, like I-B-M) that reflects an awkward name, European Aeronautic Defense and Space, a name so awkward it doesn’t readily appear on the EADS website.

A name change has really been thought about for years. On one trip to Toulouse, in 2009, we had a discussion then with Airbus personnel and the topic came up. We favored the Airbus name for the enterprise then–not that our opinion had anything to do with the action four years later :-).

More significant is the continued direction by CEO Tom Enders to move away from the government influence that first was instrumental in the growth of the enterprise but then became an albatross with jobs and prestige programs trumping business decisions (think A400M engine, the A380 [the product of 747 envy] and assembly locations). The volatile topic of government subsidies, necessary in the beginning and conceptually little different than the early days of US defense and commercial aviation, evolved into “reimbursable launch aid” that is unnecessary for a company like Airbus and which remains a target of international controversy when politics arise.

We welcome the change and the continued evolution of Airbus into a true commercial enterprise. Tom Enders will leave a legacy that will make him one of the most significant figures in global aerospace.

Meantime, EADS today announced its first half financial results.

10 Comments on “Dropping EADS for Airbus Group

  1. The main change seems to be a realization that EADS/Airbus splits into three parts: a huge civil aviation manufacturer; a smaller, but within its sector successful, helicopter manufacturer; the other stuff.

    As is often the case,the other stuff consumes a disproportionate attention.

  2. Rudy Hillinga Why is filling out these two lines a new equirement every time I write somethingScott?

    The change in the name from EADS to whatever, is NOT going to change the
    formidable challenge they are and will increasingly be to Boeing, a challenge
    severely underestimated by Boeing for much to long!

  3. Not to long ago they used “Airbus-Military” for programs like the MRTT and A-400M. EADS is a cumbersome name. The over all Name of Airbus, like Boeing can have numerous divisions.

  4. Weird, never for once did it cross my mind to pronounce EADS as ‘eeds’, I’ve always spelt it out, didn’t even know people did that :s

    • You are the smart and educated.

      The rest pronounce(d) it “eeeds” :s

  5. I think when Boeing takes an ambitious decision its visionairy, bravely betting the company. If its Airbus, it’s just politics & prestige. I know no major aerospace Integrator that isn’t heavily dependent on government support in a thousands direct and indirect ways. Many don’t like that reality & deny.

  6. I think by changing the name from EADS to Airbus, the company is trying to send a message to the European governments that it will now be principally a commercial firm and not a defense firm. Because…it doesn’t seem like they were making much money doing defense work. I think this is good for Airbus.

  7. There seem to be several underlying ideas behind that rebranding.

    I would say that the most obvious goal is to give Tom Enders full control of the group, including Airbus. In the present situation, there is a balance of power between the group leader, Enders, and Airbus CEO Bregier – you cannot say that Bregier reports to Enders, reality is more complex, he is almost coequal to Enders. The first step was to move the group headquarters to TLS, the second is to take full control of the main subsidiary in order to assert the group leader’s full control. Future fights for the number one position promise to be hard-fought …

    Another feature of the new organisation seems to be the creation of a powerful unit in Germany, in control of Spain-based Airbus Military. Is this step supposed to contribute to appease the German government ? Will Spain raise objections to a move that appears to weaken its influence in the group ?

    I also wonder whether there is any strategic advantage in the ties between Eurocopter and Airbus. As ATR has experienced for years, in a large group funding is always scarce, and secondary lines of business have a hard time developping. Likewise, airliner projects will always have priority on helicopter projects ; in the long term this may cause a decline in the helicopter branch.

    I do not know if the same applies to Astrium, or not …

  8. Should be “Defence and Space”, not “Defense and Space”, to please those Filton guys 😉

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