EADS executive said he knew his company could lose on price
Published: Friday, February 25, 2011, 5:15 AM
By Dan Murtaugh, Press-Register
MOBILE, Ala. -- Mobile might have been shocked at Boeing Co.'s win of a lucrative deal to build U.S. Air Force refueling tankers, but a top EADS North America official said that he was not.
"If the price of your pen is $1.50, and a guy is willing to sell it for a quarter, it's going to be hard to compete with that," Dave Oliver, chief operating officer, said shortly after Thursday's announcement that Boeing Co. had won the coveted contract. "I always knew that if Boeing decided to set their price at a quarter, we would lose."
The news silenced what had been a boisterous crowd of about 100 gathered at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. A European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. win would have meant a steroid shot for Mobile's economy - a $600 million assembly facility at Brookley Aeroplex that would have employed 1,500 people.
"Team Alabama" had been buoyed for weeks by defense industry analysts who had given the edge to the Paris-based company.