Airbus May Build Factory In China

This is news. Bloomberg covers the story. China apparently may need 1,790 planes new planes by 2023 Airbus estimate, and it makes sense to, well, make them in China.

Toulouse-based Airbus, which is trailing Boeing in new orders this year, may win an order for as many as 150 planes valued at $9 billion, said people familiar with the negotiations yesterday. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao may announce at least part of the order today at a Paris press conference with his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin, said the people, who declined to be named.

The European planemaker said yesterday after Wen’s visit that it might open a factory in China for assembling A320 planes. Air China and the country’s six airline groups may need 1,790 planes valued at $230 billion by 2023, Airbus estimates. Boeing on Nov. 20 won an order from China for 70 planes worth $4 billion.

Airbus spokeswoman Barbara Kracht declined to comment yesterday on the Chinese order. Ren Houxiang, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China in Beijing, declined to comment Dec. 2 on the likelihood of China signing an order with Airbus. Repeated calls to the Chinese embassy yesterday weren’t answered.

More from Reuters here.