- Bombardier Recreational Products
:" Ski-Doo redirects here, for a snowmobile, see
Bombardier Recreational Products or BRP is a Canadian company (once part of
Bombardier) that traces its roots back to the year 1942 when Joseph-Armand Bombardierfounded "L'Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée" in Valcourt in the Eastern Townships, Quebec. In 2003, the company that Joseph-Armand Bombardierfounded (Known as BombardierInc,) sold its Recreational Products Division to a group of investors: Bain Capital: 50%
Bombardier Family : 35%
Caisse de Dépôt & Placements du Québec: 15%
The newly formed company was named BRP and it included all the activities started 60 years earlier by its founder. As of March 31, 2005 it had 6,200 employees working in 80 countries, including
Canada, Austriaand Finland, in addition to the United States; its revenues in 2007 are above US$2.5 billion.
Invention of the Snowmobile
Prior to the start of the company's development of track vehicles, Armand Bombardier experimented with propeller driven snow vehicles. His work with snowplane designs can be traced to before 1920. He quickly abandoned his efforts to develop a snowplane and turned his inventive skills to tracked vehicles.
From the start the company made truck-sized
half-trackvehicles, with skis in the front and Caterpillar tracks in the rear, designed for the worst winter conditions of the flatland Canadian countryside. After producing half-tracks in World War IIfor the Canadian Army the company experimented with new forms of track systems and developed an all-tracked heavy duty vehicle designed for logging and mining operations in extreme wilderness conditions, such as heavy snowor semi-liquid muskeg. They produced it under the name "Muskeg tractor". machines. For deep snow use, wider tracks, employing addition belts, are used for added flotation over the snow.
The research for the track base made it possible to produce a relatively small continuous rubber track for the light one or two person snowmobile the founder of the company had dreamed about during his teen years. This led to the invention of
snowmobiles as we know them.
s. Unfortunately the front ski design was not easily adapted to change for other ground conditions, so while it was successful on flat lands, frozen lakes and snow covered roads, it could not compete on rough off road conditions. The combination of the lack of design flexibility, incompatibility with off road conditions, and the advent of modern snowplowing practices of public roadways beginning in the 1950s, and becoming common in remote areas by the 1960s probably led to the demise of the B12/C18 design.
Notable competitors included the Aktiv
Snow TracST4 from Sweden, Thiokol, and Tucker Sno-Catfrom the USA. The Snow Tracwas produced, virtually unchanged until 1981 but it was very successful with over 2000 units sold and it was used all over the globe for exploration and commercial purposes as well as the 1972 Winter Olympic games in Soporro, Japan. Tucker Sno-Catgrew to become one of the world's largest builders of these vehicles and currently produces a wide range of large commercial and exploration vehicles from its location in Medford, Oregon, USA. Thiokolproduced many popular units, notably the Imp, Super Imp and Spryte models but changed ownership and name several times before going out of business in 2000 as the Logan Machine Companyand manufacturer of the LMC brand.
Invention of the small snowmobile
Armand dreamed of developing a fast, lightweight snowmobile that could carry one or two people. In the early 1950s, Armand set aside his dream to focus on developing his company's other tracked vehicles. But by the end of the decade, smaller, more efficient engines had been developed and were starting to come on the market. Armand resumed his efforts to build a "miniature" snowmobile. He worked alongside his eldest son Germain, who shared his father's mechanical talents. Armand and Germain developed several prototypes of the lightweight snowmobile and finally, the first
Bombardier snowmobilewent on sale in 1959.
company to expand the Ski-Doo line and eliminate a competitor from the marketplace.
Motorcycles and ATVs
During the 1970s, Bombardier built the Can-Am brand of
off-roadcompetition motorcyclesdesigned for motocrossand endurowith Rotaxengines displacing 125, 175, 248 and 366 500 and 800cc. The bikes competed successfully in professional racing with Gary Jones winning the 1974 U.S. 250cc AMA national motocross championship. In 1983, Bombardier licensed the brand and outsourced development and production of the Can-Am motorcycles to Armstrong / CCM of Lancashire, England. 1987 was the last model year for Can-Am.
In 2007 Bombardier renamed their
all-terrain vehicleline of products to Can-Am.
Invention of the three-wheel roadster
In 2007, BRP announced the launch of a new three-wheel roadster called the Spyder, which will be released in Q4 2007 under the Can-Am brand. This is the first vehicle from BRP to go on the road.
They are currently touring across the world to do trial run for future owners.
In the 1970s and 1980s the company diversified into railway and aeronautical products and became a multinational corporation known as
During restructuring operations in 2003 the original snowmobile and tracked utility vehicle division was spun off as a separate company, though majority ownership remained with the Bombardier family. Though the company is a major manufacturer of two stroke engines and four stroke motors for several industries it is better known for its consumer recreational products. They now make
Ski-Dooand Lynx brand snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, Sea-Doo personal watercraft, jet boats, and Evinrude and Johnson outboard motors (through the purchase of Outboard Marine Corporation) and two-stroke cycleengines for inshore motorboat racing. They also produce motorcyclemotors, kartmotors, and small airplane motors, through their Rotaxdivision.
In late August 2004 they sold the industrial vehicles division to the
Camoplastcompany of Sherbrooke, Quebec. The industrial vehicles division made tracked utility vehicles such as snow grooming snowcats for skiing, sidewalk snow removal tractors and heavy duty tracked transporters, including the descendant of their original "Muskeg tractor".
Cross Border Sales controversy
In October 2007, it was discovered that Bombardier had ordered at least some U.S. ATV dealerships to stop selling vehicles to Canadian customers. Bombardier also announced that the warranty on any craft purchased by a Canadian in the United States – even if the purchase was initially made by an American - would be void. Newspaper articles revealed that some models were being sold in Canada for as much as 40% above prices in the U.S. [ [http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/267415 Don't sell to Canadians, U.S. Bombardier dealer told] ]
Logan Machine Company
John Deere Buck(produced by Bombardier)
* [http://www.seadoosportboats.com/ The official website for the SeaDoo Sport Boat enthusiast]
* [http://www.northerntracks.com/history/ Northern Tracks Bombardier Collectors Website]
* [http://www.brp.com/ Bombardier Recreational Products - official website]
* [http://spyder.brp.com/ Can-Am Spyder - official website]
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