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Vision of the Future: Airbus 380 or Boeing 787 Dreamliner?

1. Using the framework of Figure 1.1 (see Chapter 1, p. 11), do the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 787 qualify as high-technology products? Justify your position.

2. Draw a road map of the historical evolution of the products from Airbus and Boeing between 1970 and 2005. What insights do you gather from this road map about the nature of the commercial aircraft industry and the competitive rivalry of the two firms?

3. Both companies experienced severe delays in the development of their next-generation products. What could Airbus and Boeing have done to prevent such delays?

4. Analyzing consumer behavior and other trends in the travel business, which company’s vision of the industry’s future (Airbus or Boeing) do you think will materialize?  Why? How does this affect the firm’s positioning strategy?

5. In 1995 Airbus and Boeing decided not to cooperate on the design and manufacture of a next-generation passenger jet. In hindsight, do you think this was the right decision? Justify your position.

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