How did EADS come into being, and what were the decisive factors that led to the formation of this major European project? And, what role did Jürgen Schrempp have in it? Watch a summary of the key events.
At the end of the 1960s, French, German and English industrialists decided to venture into civil aviation together. Their goal was to be able to compete with US manufacturers of large passenger planes. With the foundation of Airbus Industrie in 1970, the first European idea in this realm was put into practice. It was an alliance of consortium companies, whose German founding members were acquired by Daimler-Benz over time and merged with Deutsche Aerospace Aktiengesellschaft (DASA). These companies included Dornier GmbH, MTU GmbH and parts of AEG AG. Shortly before Daimler’s controversial takeover of the defense and aviation company MBB-ERNO, it was the then-chairman of the Supervisory Board Alfred Herrhausen who actively promoted the merger, which in the end created a truly European corporation.
“I DON’T DECEIVE AND I DON’T CHEAT. I AM JUST A GUY WHO ALWAYS SAYS WHAT HE THINKS.”
Jürgen E. Schrempp
Airbus vision: making space a universe of possibilities for everyone.
In 1989, Jürgen Schrempp became the first Chairman of the Board of DASA (later known as DaimlerChrysler Aerospace Aktiengesellschaft) and faced the task of consolidating German activities. Daimler had thus gained “sovereignty” over German airspace. The next step, bringing together all those involved in Europe, proved extremely difficult due to national interests.
Many talks and discussions were held in England, France, Italy and Spain – representatives debated, met and consulted one another. In the end, it was France and Germany that pushed the project ahead – with the key positions being held by Jürgen Schrempp and Jean-Luc Lagadère. Lagadère, a French entrepreneur, was the chairman of the technology and aerospace company MATRA, which later also became part of EADS as Aérospatiale-MATRA.
Following further negotiations and meetings, the European Aerospace, Defence and Space Company (EADS) was finally founded in 2000, and the company was listed on the stock exchange on July 10, 2000.
As a result of the close relationship and friendship between Jean-Luc Lagadère and Jürgen Schrempp, the vision of a European aerospace company was put into practice. Supported by French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, French Minister of Finance Dominique Strauss-Kahn and German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, EADS became the first European stock corporation listed on the stock exchange and immediately became the third-largest aerospace company worldwide. And although this young company faced significant political, cultural and technological challenges, EADS was and is a European success story and today easily keeps pace with its American competitors.