I think they are being diverted but not into the manufacuring process (unless you are meaning resources are shifted). But Airbus is running into a simple problem. On a 20 year purchase operating cost as are if not more important than your purchase price. If I can get significantly better performance in 2-4 years why not wait?
If you go pitch an improved across the board A320/21 to airlines the first thing many will look to do is defer. Neither Airbus or Boeing can afford to have hundreds of frames going through that. It will create chaos.
Yes, this all falls into the information warfare category:
• Avoiding churn in the A32x backlog is a good thing
• Placating customers who are upset because their A32x deliveries are late is a good thing
• Spending engineering resources up front to reduce manufacturing cost is a good thing especially given the huge backlog
• Waiting to see Boeing's NMA offering before you show A320+/++ to customers is a good thing
• So saying that you're shifting resources from A320+/++ to A320 manufacturing is a good thing
• Letting Boeing think you're de-staffing A320+/A320++ is a good thing
• But behind the scenes, no reason to not keep working on a NMA competitor, right?!?
The only bad news scenario would be if they really are concerned enough about A32x manufacturing and reluctant enough about increasing R&D spending that they'd actually de-staff A320+/++.
Strange, isn't it?