The world leader in helicopter plans to assemble the squirrel or the EC 135 in China in the future. The site will be operational within five years.
Eurocopter is about to follow in the footsteps of Airbus China. “Implementing an assembly plant in China is enshrined in our development plan,” said Lutz Bertling, CEO of Eurocopter, presenting the “flight plan” in Paris for the coming years.
“Right now we are at the stage of determining where and with whom we will take this project. This, in conjunction with our local affiliate, “said Joseph Saporito, Director of Eurocopter in charge of industrial activities and the supply chain.
The helicopter subsidiary of EADS has signed trade agreements, while the engine manufacturer Safran has established an agreement in the helicopter engines. “There are other possible partners,” said Joseph Saporito. As for the model that would be assembled in China, Eurocopter is considering two options: the squirrel or EC 135.
Eurocopter’s investment in China is part of a larger project of “increased industrial presence” worldwide. This is closer to the end customer by becoming “citizen” in the country. If the market for military helicopters is “closed,” said Lutz Bertling, the outlook is promising on the civilian market. “In Asia, the market will grow by 40% in five years,” says the CEO.