These last few weeks, orders are more rare in Airbus. Several contracts ready to be signed by the european manufacturer had been blown in the nick of time by his rival the american Boeing. In the group, we refer to contracts in India with Jet Airways (75 devices), Egypt (six 787), or Turkey (40 787)… clearly there is an air hole in the orders, we entrust-t one internal. A feeling that is even confirmed at the highest level of the French State : “zero business currently” for Airbus, says it without any circumambulation.
Of course, this situation has not escaped the leadership of Airbus, which, according to a source interviewed by The Tribune, is distraught by the recent bad news coming from the front commercial. Even if two or three commands can still change that, and… in fine, to hide the real situation. The executive committee has so recently and extensively dwelt on the reasons of this failure dry. Three main reasons have been identified : the economic downtrend in the aviation sector, the return in force of american groups, with Donald Trump’s very aggressive and the internal situation, which paralyzes the business of the group. “The Americans avail themselves of our state of weakness by being more aggressive,” confirms to the Tribune.
Intermediaries that are not paid
So far, the results of the first half of 2017 confirms only a small deceleration in order intake (37.2 billion as compared to 39.1 billion in the first half of 2016). No more. But for an old road, this is explained by the fact that the european company has managed to conclude orders in which negotiations had been commenced at the end of 2016. “This is the elastic effect”, he says. Now Boeing cased and racked up the most beautiful commands of the moment.
And, at the same time at Airbus, a good commercial is a commercial which avoids the contracts, believes a good connoisseur of these folders. The question, therefore, put at risk the reputation of Airbus. “No business merit”, says one in-house. “This puts in danger the very existence of the group”, stated another internal source. At the same time, Airbus has what to see coming up with an order book that rises to 981 billion euros at end-June (vs. 1.060 billion at the end of 2016).
“There is no longer a question of taking the slightest risk in difficult countries,” says-t-on within the management of Airbus. We prefer to spend our turn and let the other groups win. It is a very clear line to us,”. And to conclude, “Airbus will be right in the long term.” So be it…
“We don’t have to measure all the consequences of our strategy on all the deals of the moment”, it was argued. It is sure to work without any intermediary in some countries condemns Airbus not to win contracts. The CEO of Airbus was fully aware of this. “We have found irregularities, which have taken us in September, to suspend any payment to our commercial intermediaries,” he says in an interview in the World. This prompted us to radically change our practices in this area.”
The commercial forces dismantled
Above all, Tom Enders has dismantled the service (SMO Strategy, Marketing Organization), led by Marwan Lahoud and, before him, Jean-Paul Gut. A team that had a network and influence is incredible throughout the world. SMO, which is currently the subject of suspicions of corruption, won billions of euros in orders at the group. Not only Airbus has lost much of its strength from the “super sellers” with the disappearance of SMO but also he has stopped paying the intermediaries who worked for the group. “Our network of influence has been plundered, through the fault of Tom Enders, ensures an elder of the house, annoyed. It is the total destruction of the commercial system from Airbus in France”. Result, less contract. A lot less.
“Structurally, it was necessary to change everything, says it is still in-house at The Forum. Tom Enders had made the right decision. Too much of seeing red were lit”. So far, it seems to be now an urgent need for Airbus to rabibocher with its former intermediate. But the situation is catastrophic : they are furious – Airbus is threatened by a number of complaints, ” says one to The Tribune – and now work for rivals. “We will watch if our agents are healthy”, says one to The Tribune. It was time more than three years after the cessation of payments… How? Airbus is going to “build a folder to be able to pay the intermediary on the basis of operations of due diligence”. In plain, checks prior to a transaction, a typical operation before the acquisition of a company. This will not be easy for people usually very discrete…