Latécoère, now one of the major players in global aerospace, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In Toulouse and the surrounding region, its name conjures up the legends, bold achievements and adventures associated with the pioneers of the Aéropostale aviation company and, later, aerospace in general.
From the end of the First World War, the family business grew dramatically, getting a foothold in eight countries as the aviation sector embarked on the path to globalisation.
By constantly renewing its skills and product lines, Latécoère produced giant seaplanes, and later, missiles. It was only in the 1980s that the group started to manufacture parts for the aerospace industry, which is how it is known today.
As a supplier for the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing, it employs 4,300 people in six countries and recorded turnover of 655 million euros in 2016.
However, despite the fact that this Toulouse-based company has fought hard to win market share worldwide, it remains firmly rooted in south-west France.
In early July, the first brick of a new state-of-the-art factory - known as “4.0” and set to run 24 hours a day using robotics - was laid down in Toulouse. The goal is clearly to secure a place on-board Airbus’ next major programme: the A320 replacement, scheduled for 2025-2030. This is the mission entrusted to Yannick Assouad, the new CEO steering Latécoère towards its future.