From: email@example.com (Johan van der Veen) Date: 24 Jan 1996 05:44:09 -0800 Organization: Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Bristol, England References: 1 Followups: 1
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In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com (Thornton Shepher d) writes: > I caught a very brief news flash on the BBC World Service this morning that > mentioned a bankruptcy at Fokker Aircraft of the Netherlands. This was a > surprise to me because I had noticed a dramatic rise in orders for Fokker > aircraft over the last few months. I had also read about Daimler Benz' recent > pledges of support for its ailing subsidiary. Does anyone know the real story ? > What's going on? Fokker's big problem has been that its costs are expressed in Dutch guilders and their sales are in US dollars. The guilder has become harder and harder and a dollar hasn't been worth much less expressed in guilders for a very long time. Add to this that Fokker still uses a lot of people instead of machines to build a plane, people who are paid (high) salaries in Dutch guilders. Also, Fokker invested a huge amount of money to develop the F50 and F100 at the same time. Fokker has been selling quite well, but recently they had to sell at or under production cost! I'm quite sad that it looks like Fokker is going bankrupt. They have a proud history, supplying the German air force in the 1st World War with the planes that made the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen famous, rising from their ashes after the 2nd World War (in which the company was totally destroyed) and producing a bestseller in the form of the Fokker F27 Friendship, which is still flying in many third world countries. However, there is still a chance that the Dutch government will decide that it costs less to inject yet more money than to let Fokker go bankrupt (keeping in mind the welfare system in the Netherlands - a huge amount of people suddenly becoming jobless). *If* they are bailed out once again, it is clear that something has to change, or in one or two years the same thing will happen again. It would be good if Fokker could come to terms with BAe and German, French and Italian regional jet builders, to form a kind of consortium like Airbus. Hans.