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Eurocopter Will Strengthen National Aeronautic Cluster Initiatives in the Near Future

Eurocopter Will Strengthen National Aeronautic Cluster Initiatives in the Near Future

On January 10, 2008, International Media were invited to visit Eurocopter's factory in Donauwoerth in Bavaria by both Dr. Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter CEO and Louis Gallois, EADS CEO.  Dr. Bertling addressed the press and confirmed his company, a successful division of EADS Company "has again experienced a record year in 2007". On January 22, during Eurocopter’s press conference in Paris, Dr. Lutz Bertling will tell more both on Eurocopter’s achievements in 2007 and prospects for 2008. Source: Eurocopter.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Representatives of the international press,
Dear colleagues from EADS and Eurocopter

First of all, let me wish you and your families a great year 2008 on a professional as well as on a personal note.

Dr. Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter CEO, in Donauwörth. ES © Photo.

Dr. Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter CEO, in Donauwörth

As CEO of Eurocopter, I’m particularly happy that Louis Gallois chose our main production site in Germany to host his greetings to the press, which gives me the opportunity to welcome you all here today in Donauwoerth.

Year after year, Eurocopter has been playing a bigger role within the EADS group, in terms of financial contribution, thanks to its fast growing activity, and success of its business model.

Today, I won’t talk to you about Eurocopter’s achievements in 2007 and prospects for 2008, since Louis will provide you with respective information in the framework of EADS strategy later today and since we will specifically discuss these issues on the 22nd of January in Paris during Eurocopter’s press conference.

At this stage, what I can tell you is that Eurocopter has again experienced a record year in 2007, allowing the company to maintain its position as N°1 worldwide on the civil & parapublic markets.

Dr. Lutz Bertling, Eurocopter CEO, in Donauwörth. ES © Photo.

  • And prospects look very promising….

I can however say a few words on our business model, which is the one of a “multi-local player”, developing a local presence, usually in partnership with national industry, for the benefit of the customers. Eurocopter owns today 17 subsidiaries over the 5 continents contributing to more than 50% of its revenues.

This strategy allows us to sustain the growth of the production sites in the home countries (Germany, France & Spain), where we have significantly increased our workforce and production capacity in the past years.

  • Let me now outline a few elements concerning Donauwoerth, where we are today, which opened 60 years ago and where more than 5,300 people are working.

I hope that you will enjoy your tour across our facility later this morning, coming into close contact with two world-class military products comprising latest technologies:

NH 90. Eurocopter © Photo.

NH 90. Eurocopter © Photo.

The Tiger, currently the most advanced combat helicopter and the NH90, the reference multi-role troop transport helicopter of the 21st century. Part of their worldwide production supply as well as the final assembly for the German Armed Forces and some export countries are performed in Donauwoerth.

Tiger assembly line in Donauwörth. Eurocopter © Photo.

Tiger assembly line in Donauwörth. Eurocopter © Photo.

You will have the opportunity to see the EC145 assembly line and especially the UH-72A that we continue to manufacture for the US Army to meet the delivery pace required by the US Army, although our factory in Mississippi has started producing some aircraft.

Donauwörth factory. ES © Photo.

Donauwörth factory

This contract with the US Army is until now, the biggest in terms of volume in the Eurocopter’s history, with 322 units, which we expect to raise to at least 500, and I must say the most emblematic one.

Donauwörth factory. ES © Photo.

You will also be able to access the production and assembly line of the EC135, the world’s best seller in the light twin engine category, which encounters a great success for Emergency Medical Services, law enforcement and also oil & gas operations, with more than 600 units delivered until now.

What you might not know is that we strongly contribute to Airbus activities, since Eurocopter Deutschland is the supplier of passenger and cargo door ship sets for about 70 percent of the Airbus product range, currently comprising the types A318, A319, A320, A321, A300-600, A330, A340 and the latest A380.

Moreover, our national military support center here in Donauwoerth ensures maintenance, support, modernization and lifetime extension of the German Armed Forces’ MBB, Sikorsky and Westland helicopter fleet.

This site, like the one in Marignane, has been benefiting from steady investments, to ensure ongoing production efficiency.

Dr. Lutz Bertling during the press conference. ES © Photo.

Dr. Lutz Bertling during the press conference

As you are aware, one of our biggest challenges - which I admit is a nice challenge - is to manage a very stiff production ramp-up.

To succeed in this task, we are constantly improving our global supply chain. In July 2007, in partnership with existing suppliers, we opened a brand new Logistics Center to ensure optimal production and customer service processes.

Eurocopter's Donauwörth factory in Germany. Eurocopter © Photo.

Eurocopter's Donauwörth factory in Germany

This first phase of our Helicopter Technology Park project in Donauwörth is now succeeded by step 2, a new Cooperation Centre, which will bring suppliers and service providers closely together and next door to us from later in 2008 onwards.

Thus, we will be able to strengthen national aeronautic cluster initiatives in the near future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Many thanks again for being here.
I wish you an informative and enjoyable stay here in Donauwörth and I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Louis Gallois and Lutz Bertling in Donauwörth. Eurocopter © Photo.

Louis Gallois and Lutz Bertling in Donauwörth on January 10, 2008

  • About Eurocopter

Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 14,000 people. In 2007, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover exceeding 4 billion Euros, orders for 802 new helicopters, and a 53 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 17 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,000 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.

  • For more information, please contact::

Cécile Vion-Lanctuit : Tel : + 33 (0)4 42 85 60 51 -- Mob :+ 33 (0)6 72 83 90 67
Christina Gotzhein : Tel : + 49 (0) 89 60 00 64 88 --  Mob :+ 49 (0) 151 14 22 92 43
Pek-Kee Sum : Tel.: + 33 (0) 4 42 85 17 13 -- Mob: +33 (0) 6 28 82 12 06
Christopher Bach :  Tel: + 49 (0) 906 71 45 65 --  Mob: + 49 (0) 151 14 22 90 89
Jesus Ruiz : Tel: + 34 91 379 66 04 -- Mob :+ 34 690 88 88 80

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).