Instead of the small and easy feasibility future requests I often make this one is a bigger one.
It is, basically, about not only looking on the pure aircraft tech data, but also who builds the aircraft.
Advantages of the system:
1) A binding to your manufacturer, a role-playing feature that will people make really think about what they order and feel like a real CEO
2) More easy to learn micromanagement on a level that doesn't need much time
3) Implementing aircraft in the day to day airline service that are being avoided often, like MD-11
The basic function:
MI (manufacturer image) works a bit like CI or RI. It ranges from -100 to +100 and each airline has an own rating to each manufacturer. If manufacturers merge, you keep the most positive MI.
What it does:
A neutral MI doesn't offer much. If you pre-purchase aircraft you get a small discount (smaller than now) and if you purchase large numbers, you get also a smaller discount. It's like if you are new to the town and visit a book store for the first time. They won't offer you good customer discount, but they also won't punish you.
A good MI gives you advantages.
- discounts on the level we know at the moment or even higher if you have very high MI
- a small advantage on the production line if you have high MI
- if you have very high MI, the manufacturer will send you a message, informing you about a new production and asking you, if you want to become a launch customer. Launch customer offers are sent to every airline with MI >85 (or so), offering special discount and faster delivery on an amount of aircraft (maximum 30 for narrowbody, maximum 20 for widebody etc.). The offer stays active for 3-6 ingame month
- lower costs for D-Checks, because the manufacturer will help you with sending personal and knowledge
- lower costs on D-Checks and C-Checks because you get a discount on replacement parts
A negative MI gives you disadvantages.
- no discounts or very small ones (depends on actually MI level)
- if you really messed up your MI the manufacturer only wants to work with you if you pre-purchase aircraft for 60% or more because they don't trust you (maybe MI is lower than -70)
- you not only don't get the bonus delivery spaces for positive MI, but your deliveries are also a bit slower than neutral because your aircraft have absolutely no priority (MI lower than -30)
How is MI calculated?
- it growth or decreases over time by simply ordering aircraft from a manufacturer or not, but it will never go below -30 and it will not go to MI 100 in short time!
- it increases a bit faster if you make very long leases or purchase the aircraft with 60% pre-paid or more
- they honor if you do D-Checks on their aircraft, showing they are important to you and you take care of them
- if you order the competition model of a competitor it will decrease (like 737 classic vs. MD-80s vs. A320)
- you can make MI image campaigns, similar to RI and CI ones - cheap and important for new airlines, very expensive for old airlines. Only one manufacturer can be wooed at one time!
- special promises: In an extra window, you can promise a manufactur you purchase aircraft of a special group (small aircraft, medium, large, very large etc.) for x years only from them. The other manufacturers are then greyed out (or not and if you purchase from the wrong on, breaking your promise, MI will fall hard)
- if you run aircraft fleets from only one manufacturer you get a special increase bonus (like an all Boeing or Tupolev fleet)
Manufacturer Image (MI) gives the game another level of immersion. You can't just always run for the "best" aircraft of an era, jumping around. Your decisions really make a difference! If you start into a long gameworld (or Jet Age) and go for Douglas because you love the DC-6B you will be sad when you notice Boeing is upset when you later want to purchase 727. But on the other hand you get near the end of the game nice discounts on DC-9-50 becuase the manufacturer knows you. It's like in the bookstore example at the beginning: If you get used to the town, live there and people know you are trustworthy, you will start to get a discount on each book you buy.
Those lists are, of course, not final. They just should give an idea what each point can be influenced by and what it can cause.
The system could also be extended:
1) How Tupolev and Ilyushin announce an alliance? So even a mixed Il/Tu-fleet would count as an all-Tu-fleet, giving you bonuses.
-> Manufacturers are part of two groups: smaller ones (Fokker, Martin, BAC, Saab etc.) and bigger ones (Airbus, Douglas, Boeing, Lockheed) and they can only alliance with another group. Russian manufacturers can only mate with other Russian ones.
2) How about Boeing and Airbus start an economy war? If you purchase competition aircraft during such a war your MI with the other manufacturer really gets hit.
-> wars can only last one year, but maybe the war will go for several years? Nobody knows, like fuel prices.
3) How about Lockheed announces they'll pull out of the civil market and another manufacturer announces he will overtake all the positive MI people have earned at Lockheed to hope they become their customers then?
-> Nobody knows if another company will take over the MI and if yes, which manufacturer this will be (out of the lasting big three)... or even a Russian one?
Each gameworld would be different due to different manufacturer alliances different economy wars and differente announcements of customer care.
(the whole same system could also work for engine manufacturers, too, maybe in a smaller version...)