Bombardier Recreational Products

From Academic Kids

Bombardier Recreational Products or BRP is a Canadian company, which was founded by Joseph-Armand Bombardier as L'Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée in 1942 at Valcourt in the Eastern Townships, Quebec. As of April 30 2003 it had 7,600 employees working in several countries, including the United States and Austria in addition to Canada.

From the start the company made truck-sized half-track vehicles, with skis in the front and Caterpillar tracks in the rear, designed for the worst winter conditions of the Canadian countryside. After producing half-tracks in World War II for the Canadian Forces 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 snow or semi-liquid muskeg. They produced it under the name Muskeg tractor. 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 dreamt of as a teenager. This led to the invention of snowmobiles, as we know them. The company created the market, and held its own after it was invaded by Japanese and United States competitors in the late 60s.

In the 1970s and 1980s the company diversified into railway and aeronautical products and became a multinational corporation known as Bombardier Inc.. During restructuration operations in 2003 the original snowmobile and tracked utility vehicle component was spun off as a separate company, whose controlling shares were mostly in the hands of the Bombardier family, the descendants and relatives of the founder. Though the company is a major manufacturer of small two stroke and four stroke motors for several industries it is better known for its consumer recreational products.

They now make Ski-Doo brand snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, Sea-Doo personal watercraft, jet boats, and outboard motors. They also produce motorcycle motors, kart motors, and small airplane motors, through their Rotax division. In late August 2004 they sold to the Camoplast company of Sherbrooke, Quebec the industrial vehicles division which 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.

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