Title: Strategy and competitive rivalry in the original equipment manufacturer single aisle market

Authors: John S. Slattery; John F. O'Connell; Dawna Rhoades; Siobhan Tiernan; David Warnock-Smith

Addresses: Embraer Commercial Aviation, Av. Pres. JuscelinoKubitschek, 1909 – 15 andar, Torre Norte – Sao Paulo Corporate Towers, 04543-907 – Sao Paulo/SP, Brazil ' Department of Air Transport, Cranfield University, UK ' College of Business, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA ' Department of Management, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland ' Faculty of Design, Media and Management, Buckinghamshire New University, High Wycombe, UK

Abstract: The development of new jet aircraft has become the focal point of competition within the commercial aviation industry, pushing product development and positioning strategies to the core of the competitive game. This paper explores the competitive forces of the single aisle aircraft manufacturing market and how the rivalry between competitors affects their respective strategies. A survey was distributed to industry executives, along with interviews with key senior managers, to uncover and critique strategies the respective airframe original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) adopted. It was found that movements in the engine OEM industry were a key determinant in the competitive positioning of airframe OEMs during the period of this study ranging from 2004-2013. The focus OEMs established different strategies, considering the competitive actions of their rivals, to succeed in the single-aisle segment. Bombardier followed a niche strategy, differentiating itself in that niche by developing a clean sheet design aircraft. Airbus and Boeing use their competencies to create a broad cost and differentiation strategy, respectively. Embraer competes with its counterparts by adopting a niche strategy coupled with cost leadership in that niche.

Keywords: original equipment manufacturer; OEM; aircraft manufacturing; competitive positioning; strategy; competitive advantage.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAM.2016.088064

International Journal of Aviation Management, 2016 Vol.3 No.4, pp.234 - 248

Received: 16 May 2016
Accepted: 13 May 2017

Published online: 14 Nov 2017 *

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