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Boeing versus Airbus: The Inside Story of the Greatest International Competition in Business Paperback – January 8, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In this update of his 1982 study of the aviation industry, The Sporty Game, Newhouse takes us inside the seesaw battle between the world's two remaining manufacturers of big airliners. "Mighty Boeing and the arriviste Airbus," both massive corporations and emblems of national pride, are worth exploring at length. Yet while the former New Yorker writer has invested a tremendous amount of effort in interviews and research, he fails to assemble his facts, quotes and informed judgments into a coherent story. Newhouse introduces a fleet of issues: international sensitivities, cost overruns, governance structure, missed deadlines, the U.S. airline crisis, purchase negotiations, engine mechanics, government subsidies, the economics of plane size, the composition of airplane wings. But his touch is too light. Strong personalities—most prominently, Boeing's controversial CEOs—flit in and out, never quite coming to life; the planes themselves fare no better despite pages of description. The thousands who work in the airplane and airline industries may enjoy the details; the rest of us—even frequent fliers—might not be as interested. (Jan. 16)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Newhouse, former government advisor, tells the story of making and selling passenger airplanes and presents a case study from 1985 to the present of two industry giants, Boeing and its archrival, Europe's Airbus. The author paints a picture of a fiercely competitive industry that eliminates participants who misread the market; who build planes too big, too small, or too costly; who match new planes with wrong engines; or who are just unlucky. The financial stakes are enormous. Today Boeing and Airbus are the sole providers of large airplanes, and we learn about their strengths and weaknesses and how their fortunes ebbed and flowed through the years. This is also a human story of the players within these massive organizations and their very influential governments. The author concludes that each company will capture close to a 50 percent market share and "each is likely to do well much of the time and even prosper," making airlines and air travelers the winners. An excellent book. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
One finishes the work convinced that airlines are created by dreamers and airliners by pragmatists who, if they have managed to acquire and plug in a functional crystal ball, can serve up the right airplane at the right time for the right markets, but it's a long-odds proposition..
It is indeed interesting to read this book published in 2007 in 2016 since many of the predictions and bets of these two manufactures have come to pass in certain ways.
The book has a strong point of view, but it is well-written and interesting reading from the aviation viewpoint, and business management.
I do wish this had been polished a bit. As on reading through it, it does seem to be a bit like a number of articles string together. This makes it sometimes not so pleasurable to read through.
However, it is still interesting but it may take a wee bit of merit.
It would be interesting to see if the author will update this book in a few years when the respective Dreamliner/A380/A350 bets have had some time to establish themselves in their respective markets. That the A380 was probably a boondoggle for Airbus remains likely while the Chinese, Brazilians, and other emerging nations are starting to nip away at the smaller-plane end of the market. Once these new players manage to build larger planes that successfully compete in the A320/737 size and range, Boeing and Airbus will have much bigger things to worry about than their cross-Atlantic rival, both of whom manufacture in high-wage labor markets.
Anyhow, I didn't enjoy this book very much. I found Joe Sutters recollections of the development of the 747 (747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation) much more interesting since that book looked at all aspects of getting the plane off the ground.
Now in 2014 the A380 is a success story, the Boeing 747 production line is due to sunset well before the end of the decade, the Airbus A350 is spinning up in response to the moderately successful 787 and of course there's the rise of the Boeing 777X.
If you decide to get this informative 2007 book, get a used copy. Oh and hope for an update from John Newhouse!