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From the author of the classic study of the aviation industry, The Sporty Game, a new book that chronicles the high-stakes rivalry between the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers—companies that will bet the house on a single airplane.
Long one of America’s most successful and admired corporations—and its biggest exporter—Boeing struggled to maintain 50 percent of the market share for commercial aircraft after being overtaken by the European upstart Airbus in the late 1990s. But Airbus did not remain on top for long. By 2006, the company suffered from mismanagement and had adopted the kind of complacent, risk-averse culture that had once characterized its competitor.
Incorporating interviews he conducted throughout the industry—with everyone from company leaders, past and present, and Wall Street analysts to design engineers and factory workers—John Newhouse takes us inside these two firms to help us understand their struggle for supremacy in a business based as much on instinct as on economics. He examines the critical issues that Boeing has faced in recent years, including its difficult merger with McDonnell Douglas, its controversial move from Seattle to Chicago, and a series of corporate scandals that made front-page news. And he analyzes the troubles that have beset a once ascendant Airbus, notably an institutional structure aimed at satisfying the narrowly focused interests of its European stakeholders. Newhouse also explores the problems that now face Boeing and Airbus alike: potential competition from China and Japan, the challenge of serving burgeoning Asian markets, and the need to undo years of mismanagement.
Boeing Versus Airbus is a fascinating, informed, and insightful tale of success, and failure, in the turbulent, do-or-die world of the aircraft industry.
"Vivid, Impressive . . .Newhouse conveys the exciting, anxiety-ridden nature of an astonishingly high-risk business."
—Wendy Smith, Newsday
"There is no better commentator on this sporting struggle than John Newhouse." —The Economist
"A concise and balanced account of the past quarter-century in the jetliner business." —Daniel Michaels, The Wall Street Journal
"An incisive primer of compelling interest to anyone who wants to understand the history of an industry that bumbles through the turbulent space where politics, national pride and serious money collide." —James Pressley, Bloomberg
"A must-read for anyone looking for a glimpse into the white-knuckled world of the commercial airplane business." —Stanley Holmes, BusinessWeek
"Excellent . . . The author paints a picture of a fiercely competitive industry that eliminates participants who misread the market." —Booklist