CSeries and COMAC : "federal officials made their views known and facilitated a rekindling of discussions with Airbus"
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July 13, 2018 - by NICOLAS VAN PRAET for The Globe And Mail
"Bombardier also explored a partnership with several Chinese state-owned enterprises, including Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, according to sources. But Ottawa was not keen on a deal between the Canadian firm and a Chinese partner, so federal officials made their views known and facilitated a rekindling of discussions with Airbus, which led to an agreement last October." Sylvain Faust's note : "What did Ottawa promised Airbus in the future for this service since Airbus did not want the CSeries? Future military contract?"
Other elements of Mr. Bellemare's plan are, by now, relatively well-known.
They include drastically reshaping the train business by cutting thousands of jobs at various assembly facilities – after arduous negotiations with unions in Europe – and improving contract execution while booking more projects that use existing designs. As for the luxury jet franchise, the Global 7500's scheduled entry into service later this year, combined with sales of smaller Challenger and Learjet models, will make up three-quarters of a planned US$4-billion increase in revenue over the next three years.
He subsequently negotiated a further $372-million in federal aid. Internally, he also changed the reporting culture. He tightened the leash on his business units so that they reported every two to three weeks instead of the typical three months. And he challenged them to get better.
"They were not always nice" these meetings, he said. "Some were very tough. But what I wanted to build was a culture of performance and a culture of accountability."
Two former Bombardier staffers described a CEO who stuck his nose into everything and created a climate of tension upon his arrival. "People are frazzled," one said. "They're walking around with butt cheeks clenched."
"People were afraid of Alain," said another. "From day one, it was very confrontational. Nothing was good" for him.
Mr. Bellemare acknowledges his demanding, results-focused style is not for everyone. "It's not a playground," he said. "We come here to work. And we get results because we work."