Re: Missed a point...
You missed one important Point on this - the plan is to assemble the C series for the American markets at Airbus's factories in the US in order to try and avoid the American tariffs on the C-series. It will be very interesting to see how that plays out.
Whilst the tariff is now a consideration, apparently Airbus and Bombardier were talking about a deal before the tariff was announced. Now, that's either excellent judgement on their part as to how the trade dispute would pan out, or there's more at stake than that.
The C-Series is such an excellent fit against what Airbus is already manufacturing and selling that a deal between the two companies was pretty strong. Airbus had an effective gap in their catalogue (the planes they were offering in the class simply weren't selling). Bombardier had the right aircraft, with certification and excellent in-service reports, but lacked the ability to take it to the world and swamp the market. Put the two together, et voila! A very strong line up, and the manufacturing capacity and financial muscle to make it a world beater.
A consequence of the deal might be that they can sidestep the US tariffs. However, I think that what is more important is that the C-Series is now a serious contender in the world market. And the world market is far larger than the US market. Doing well in the USA would be nice of course, but the real prize (one now within their reach) is the global market. Win that, and losing out in America won't really matter at all. Win that, and the existing Bombardier and Shorts Brothers factories will be kept pretty busy (Airbus haven't got lines lying idle in Europe to soak away the work).
Also everyone is forgetting that the tariffs are yet to be imposed. That issue is in itself not settled until the new year, when the US government determines whether or not Boeing was "damaged" by the under-pricing the US government says they found.
All the nice things we can say about the neatness of an Airbus-Bombardier tie up can also be said about a hypothetical deal between Boeing and Bombardier, if not more so. Bombarider's design is clearly excellent, and Boeing are in dire need of an excellent design to compete in the single aisle market. Why oh why oh why were Boeing more focused on grinding Bombardier into the dust than on recognising the opportunity represented by a financially stressed but technically competent Bombardier? Pride? Over-Confidence? These are dangerous traits.
Airbus have clearly sweet talked Bombardier (and importantly their family shareholder who still have a lot of influence in the company) in a way that Boeing never even begun to consider. Boeing's aggressive trade stance was probably the final straw that forced Bombardier (and the family, and other shareholders) into realising that the future lay in a deal, not in independence.
Now that the deal is announced one has to conclude that the future of the design, and by extension the Bombardier company, employees, etc. could very well be far larger than they ever dared hope for. It's a case a 50% slice of a 2000 airframe program being more valuable than 100% of a 500 airframe program. And given the quality of the design there's no reason to suppose that it won't get to be that big over the coming decades.
Airbus's 60 Year Free Ride
Since February 1987 Airbus have not really had to touch the design of the A320 to keep it competitive. Only recently have they NEOised it. And now they've picked up a better design with lots of growth potential for $1.00. This will see them through for another 30 years, probably. This has got to count as the cheapest ever R&D budget spent in maintaining market share.
Boeing has had 30 years to come up with a 737 replacement design that would actually make Airbus sweat, but hasn't done so. This is a ridiculous, decades long failed strategy by Boeing. And now look what's happened. Airbus has taken another leap ahead for the price of a coffee.
Develop and Compete, or Die. Perhaps Boeing don't believe in Evolution?
The timing is significant. We're about 9 months from the Farnborough airshow; that is an ideal period of time in which to go to potential customers, show them the plans, and get a few sales lined up for announcement at the show. The deal between Airbus and Bombardier is itself not scheduled to close until H2 2018, but I don't think that'll matter.
Reportedly there's already been some hurried analysis by various fleeting planners. There's probably a lot of operators out there tempted by the C-series, but were nervous about Bombardier's ability to fulfil an order. Now that concern has all but gone away, and with Airbardier likely willing to let some early orders go through at knock down prices, the C-series is suddenly back on their radar scopes. There's real financial advantage for the early buyers, so I expect the phone lines will be a bit busy in the next 9 months.