From: (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 <4e132t$>, (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

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.