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Why Did Fokker Go Under?  
User currently offlineYKA From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 766 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1696 times:

It seems the Fokker jets and turboprops always did quite well in terms of sales. The F-100 grossed over 400 sales while other models did quite well as well and many are still in service today. Can anyone tell me what led to Fokkers demise? I did some searching on the net yet I could not find any details, thanks.

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3389 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1649 times:

Fokker was heavily in debt due to the simulateous development of both the F50 and the F100 (and later the F60, the F70 abd the proposed F130). Because of that Fokker had to pay a lot of money to the bank. The Dutch government decided they didn't want to subsidise Fokker anymore (try bringing that up at Airbus/Boeing Big grin) and said that Fokker had to find a good company to back that up.

The "good" company that was selected was DASA. DASA being part of a huge German industrial group (with amongst others Mercedes I believe) meant there would be a large cashflow to the company. The Dutch government gave a lot of money to Fokker for the last time.

Although never offiially acknowledged DASA took that money, as well as a lot of technical knowledge, and then disposed of Fokker. Of course Fokker then had no money, and was quickly bankrupt.
Later it turned out that with the money the state gave to Fokker (after the take-over), Fokker would have been able to last till the RJ-bonanza. If it had, it would be safe to assume that Fokker would have been succes-story like Embraer or Canadair.

Now do not get me wrong, the Germans aren't the only one that contributed to this debacle, although they did give the final punch!




Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8031 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1594 times:

It's way too bad that Fokker went under.

If Fokker was still around today AC would likely have ordered the F100 to replace their aging fleets of 737-200's, F28's and older DC-9's. And it would not have been a small order--it could have been as many as 100 planes.


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6517 posts, RR: 54
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1557 times:

When the F27 and F28 sold well, then the shareholders thought that they could milk the cow for all profit. That paved the way for the DASA happening which is so weel described by Petertentjihe.

For 30 years Fokker was not allowed to put aside money for developing new designs. It was amacing - and a tribute to their old designs - that it could last that long.

For the last 10-15 years they struggled along with minimal updates to their 30+ years old designs without any economic posibility to develope successors.

It's a quite trivial way to spoil a good high tech production company. It has happened so many times in practically all sorts of businesses. Greedy and shortsighted shareholders were the problem which initiated the slide down the ladder.

Regards, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineDstc47 From Ireland, joined Sep 1999, 1485 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1537 times:

A further factor was that the F100 just was not that great an aircraft, in particular the lack of useable rear doors made ground handling rather more awkward than competitors aircraft.(MD80's/B737's). This may have been a very dangerous, unseen sales killer.

The F50 was, and is, a fine aircraft but the lack of stretch must have pushed many sales to ATR. It never cracked the American market, despite the success of F27 & F227 there.


User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3389 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1527 times:

There was a F50 stretch, the F60. However, the collapse of Fokker came to soon for sales to pick up. Only 4 were ordered and delivered. All for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.


Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineDstc47 From Ireland, joined Sep 1999, 1485 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1490 times:

Thanks for reminding me and others about the F60.

I had just really assumed that it was exclusively designed for the military market. I have actually seen one of these very rare birds. It is strange that they never offered it earlier, particularly to American Eagle who might have been interested, presumably shortage of capital to cover so many developments in Fokker.

The F70 also evades me, - every time I try to route myself to travel on one a 737 turns up!


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6517 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1485 times:

"New" F60s and F70s! There you have it. Those "new" planes are merely anything but re-engined and stretched or shrunk versions of 30 - 40 years old designs. Especially in high tech businesses you are on borrowed time when you don't keep up to date with fairly modern designs.

Just imagine where Boeing would have been today if they hadn't saved a cent for developing 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 planes, but only for re-engining the 707 and 727.

Greedy and shortsignted shreholders have leveled many good companies in many businesses before Fokker, and it will happen again.

Regards, Preben Norholm



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineLj From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4471 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1479 times:

I must add that another big factor which led to Fokker's collapse was the fact that Fokker paid DASA and Shorts (who manufactured the wings) in European currency whereas Fokker received everything in US dollars. As the USD whas very cheap at the time (USD/NLG was 1.75 against 2.4 at present) and Fokker couldn't get enough dollars they had a very big currency problem.

Regards
Laurens


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6517 posts, RR: 54
Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1469 times:

LJ, you are right. But that's the sort of temporary troubles which any business every now and then must stand up to. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose on such currency escalations.

But this unfortunate currency escation was merely the last 2 or 3 nails which finally sealed the lid on the Fokker coffin.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3389 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1449 times:

>"New" F60s and F70s! There you have it. Those "new" planes are merely anything but re-engined and stretched or shrunk versions of 30 - 40 years old designs.<

As if the 737 and 747 are new. Remember, the first versions of the 737 and 747 are quite old as wel. Here are the numbers:

737 1967
747 1969

F27 1955
F28 1967

The F70 and F100 are like the B737NG. Completely different from the original version.



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13241 posts, RR: 77
Reply 11, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1427 times:

Very sad when Fokker went under, the R/R 715 powered F130 could have been a seller.
Bad for the UK too, having built the wings, landing gear, engines and some of the avionics for the jets.
I flew in a Malev Fokker 70 in July, in row 3. Fine aircraft.


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