A350 XWB: Airbus’ Answer to Boeing’s Dreamliner
Francis Bidault; Buelent Goegduen
ESMT European School of Management and Technology
The case describes the strategic moves of Airbus in the twin-aisle-twin segment following Boeing’s announcement of the launch of its 787 Dreamliner. Airbus’s clients initially reacted negatively to the strategic response by criticizing the design. By the end of 2006, however, there were positive signs that the new design, the A350 XWB, would be able to find its market. The formal industrial launch had not yet been made and the A350 management office had been asked to prepare a series of proposals to the board of EADS regarding the next steps.
The case study has been prepared and used in executive programs. It is also appropriate for MBA and EMBA programs to address strategic issues in technology and product development, and above all, in responding to a competitor’s pioneering a new technology and coping with first-mover advantage.
Europe; 52,000 employees; 2006
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