Bombardier's history - Looking back at the Evolution of Mobility
Throughout its history, Bombardier has consistently responded to challenges and opportunities with tireless innovation, daring creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit. Our proven ability to absorb, improve and generate new technologies, processes and management philosophies has fuelled our competitiveness and growth.
Bombardier purchases a majority stake in MLW WorthingtonLtd., a locomotive and diesel engine manufacturer in Montreal; This adds the LRC (Light Rapid Comfortable) technology to Bombardier’s range of rail transit equipment.
The 1973 oil crisis forces Bombardier to halve its snowmobile production. Laurent Beaudoin and his management team respond by redeploying the company’s excess manufacturing capacity. They acquire mass transit technologies and apply Bombardier’s manufacturing know-how to build rolling stock.
In 1974, Bombardier wins its first mass transit contract to manufacture 423 cars for the city of Montréal’s subway system.
As its first acquisition outside of Canada Bombardier buys Lohnerwerke in Vienna, Austria, a manufacturer of motor scooters and trams, and its subsidiary, the engine manufacturer ROTAX. This marks Bombardier’s entry into the railway business.
Bombardier acquires Short Brothers plc, the pioneering aviation manufacturer based in Northern Ireland. With this acquisition, Bombardier reinforces its aerospace capabilities and establishes a European presence in the industry.
Regional air travel is revolutionized when Bombardier launches the 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ) program. The aircraft makes its first flight in 1991 and is awarded Canadian type certification in 1992.
The CRJ program is later expanded with the launch of the 70-seat CRJ700 in 1997, the 86-seat CRJ900 in 2000 and the 100-seat CRJ1000 in 2007. Also in 2007, the next generation versions of these aircraft are introduced: the CRJ NetGen. Today, the CRJ Series family of aircraft is the world’s most successful regional aircraft program.
Twenty years after diversifying into rail transportation, Bombardier takes flight in the aerospace sector. It purchases Canadair, the leading Canadian aircraft manufacturer of Challenger widebody business jets and the CL-215 amphibious firefighting aircraft.
Shortly after completing the acquisition, the go-ahead is given in early 1987 to develop the turboprop version of the CL-215, called the CL-215T.
Under perfect weather conditions, Bombardier Aerospace celebrated the successful first flight of its C Series aircraft today, a major milestone in the company’s highly anticipated development program that will provide operators with an all-new family of aircraft specifically designed for the 100- to 149-seat market segment. The maiden flight marks the start of the C Series aircraft’s flight test program leading up to the first customer delivery, and was also the first flight for Pratt & Whitney’s new Geared Turbofan™ PurePower engine as part of an aircraft certification program.
2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the legendary Learjet aircraft program. On October 7th, 1963, the first Learjet aircraft rocketed through the sky and the business jet industry was born. Bill Lear’s vision brought the dream to life. Now, 50 years young, the world’s first family of business jets is still one of the most recognizable brands in the industry.
VistaJet signs a deal for up to 142 Global business jets, valued at more than $7.8 billion U.S. (at 2012 list prices). The firm order comprises 25 Global 5000, 25 Global 6000 and six Global 8000 jets. The agreement also includes options for 40 Global 5000, 40 Global 6000 and six Global 8000 jets.
Bombardier announce a firm order from NetJets Inc. for 100 Challenger business jets with options for an additional 175 aircraft. If all the options are exercised, the total value of the order is approximately $7.3 billion US, based on 2012 list prices. At the time, it is the largest business jet order in history.
This order comes only a year after NetJets had ordered up to 120 aircraft from the Global family, an order valued at $6.7 billion, at list prices, if all options are exercised.
Bombardier launches the Learjet 70 and the Learjet 75 aircraft. The new aircraft build on legendary Learjet strengths and successes while leveraging Learjet 85 aircraft technology. The jets feature a new modern design interior, a next-generation cabin management system, superior aircraft performance and low operating costs.
Launch of our interactive YouCity innovation contest. The online competition is open to students and professionals with a vision for the future of urban mobility – from developed cities to emerging cities of the future.
Bombardier formalizes its promise and commits to shaping the evolution of mobility by focusing on three growth strategies: investing in advanced mobility solutions, establishing local roots in key markets and achieving flawless execution. These are based on four competitive strengths: excellent talent on a global scale, strong financial discipline, active risk management and a commitment to corporate social responsibility.
Bombardier signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco for the establishment of a manufacturing facility in Morocco. Fabrication of subassemblies for simple structures starts in early February 2012 at the site in Nouaceur, near Casablanca.
PRIMOVE e-mobility changes the game in tomorrow’s urban mobility allowing clean and efficient multi-modal transportation. This solution offers diverse ways of wirelessly charging all types of electric rail and road vehicles, including trams, buses, cars and trucks.
Bombardier introduces two new jets, the Global 7000 and the Global 8000 aircraft. Bombardier’s flagship Global aircraft family now uniquely covers the large, ultra long-range category with four aircraft models, the Global 5000, the Global 6000 (previously known as the Global Express XRS), Global 7000 and Global 8000 jets.
The new aircraft will give customers the ability to reach more destinations non-stop than ever before, delivering unprecedented levels of performance, flexibility, and comfort.
Joseph-Armand Bombardier never abandons his dream of inventing the perfect personal snowmobile. His persistent experimentation eventually spawns a brand-new industry: snowmobiling. In 1959, he launches his world-famous Ski-Doo.
Bombardier launches the Bombardier Continental Business Jet, an all-new transcontinental super midsize business jet. The jet makes its first flight in August 2001 and enters service in 2004. It is renamed the Challenger 300 in 2002.
In 1997, Bombardier equips all of itsDash 8 turboprops with its newly developed Active Noise and Vibration Suppression (ANVS) system. The revolutionary ANVS makes turboprop cabins almost as quiet as those of jets. In response to the market’s highly favourable reaction, Bombardier renames its Dash 8 line the Q Series (Q for ‘quiet’) in 1998.
Bombardier establishes a new customer base with the launch of its Flexjet fractional ownership program, an innovative private business jet solution for individuals and companies. The program enables participants to purchase shares in a business aircraft, providing them an annual flight time entitlement.
Bombardier announces its decision to go ahead with the development of its all-new ultra long-range Global Express business jet, which offers unparalleled comfort and the ability to fly non-stop from Montréal to Tokyo.
The aircraft makes its first flight in 1996 and enters into service in 1999.
The de Havilland division of Boeing, based in Canada, joins the Bombardier family in 1992. A pioneer in the development of short take-off and landing (STOL) aircraft, it brings to the family the Dash 8 series turboprops regional airliners. Bombardier becomes a leader in the growing market niche of regional airlines and the only one to offer both jet and turboprop aircraft in the 50-seat category.
In 1992, Bombardier ventures into Mexico, acquiring rail rolling stock manufacturer Constructura Nacional de Carros de Ferrocarril. It also acquires the Canadian assets of UTDC Inc. (Thunder Bay and Kingston, Ontario).
An initial order from France for the CL-415 amphibious aircraft – later renamed the Bombardier 415 – prompts the beginning of production. Further orders from the province of Québec and Italy soon follow. The aircraft has its first flight in 1993 and enters into service in 1994.
Today, the Bombardier 415 amphibian remains the only aircraft specifically designed for aerial firefighting and can be configured for other utility roles, including maritime search and rescue, surveillance and personnel transport.
The acquisition of Learjet Corporation allows Bombardier to have a strong presence in the United States. The company also gains a product with an excellent reputation and highly recognized trademark. Bombardier promptly launches the Learjet 60 aircraft, the first midsize business jet, which would rank as the top-selling aircraft in its class four years later.
The Québec government’s new snow-removal policy for rural roads deals a major blow to L’Auto-Neige Bombardier. The entrepreneurial Bombardier responds by developing new markets and products, including a truck with interchangeable skis and wheels for Canada’s lumber industry.
Joseph-Armand Bombardier founds L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitée to manufacture the 12-passenger B12 snowmobile. A series of other snow-going vehicles follows for ambulance, freight transport, mail delivery and school transportation services.
Today’s Bombardier grew out of a young mechanic’s inventive genius and entrepreneurial spirit. Born in 1907, Joseph-Armand Bombardier builds his first “snow vehicle” at the ripe age of 15. His motivation? To help people travel across the snow-covered roads of rural Québec in Canada.
In 1937, J.-Armand achieves his first major commercial success with the launch of the seven-passenger B7 snowmobile.
Laurent Beaudoin, the founder’s son-in-law, becomes president of the company. He proves to be as visionary and innovative as Joseph-Armand Bombardier.
Under Beaudoin’s inspired leadership, the company enters a new era of organic growth and diversification through strategic acquisitions. In 1969, taking the company public further fuels growth, with listings on the Montréal and Toronto Stock Exchanges.
Bombardier launches the C Series five-abreast commercial airliner family, which offers the economics, performance, environmental and passenger-oriented improvements demanded by airline customers for the next quarter century.
Lufthansa, a leading German airline, signs a letter of interest (LOI) for up to 60 aircraft, including 30 options.
The hybrid AGC (Autorail Grande Capacité) with dual mode and dual voltage technology enables to switch seamlessly from electric traction on electrified railway sections to diesel on non-electrified ones. The hybrid AGC can operate on both 1500 V and 25kV networks.
Bombardier launches the Learjet 85 program, originally named Learjet NXT, the first business jet with a primarily composite structure. This clean-sheet Learjet aircraft targets a high-speed cruise of Mach 0.82 and a transcontinental range of up to 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 km). This aircraft is designed to provide a larger, more comfortable cabin than any existing midsize aircraft.
As a leader in the manufacture of sustainable transport solutions, Bombardier formalises its commitment to being a good corporate citizen. This commitment is based on three pillars: excellence, people and the environment. Bombardier adheres to the United Nations Global Compact and is listed for the first time among companies forming the Dow Jones World and Dow Jones North America sustainability indices.
Bombardier launches the 100-seat CRJ1000 regional jet, the next major step in the evolution of the CRJ Series, the world's most successful regional aircraft program. First flight of the aircraft takes place in September 2008.
Bombardier also introduces the next generation version of its regional jets, the CRJ Series family, which features improved operating costs, an all-new cabin and increased use of composite materials.
TheCRJ1000 completes its first flight in September 2008.
Bombardier establishes a world-class facility in Querétaro, Mexico for the manufacture of the main harnesses and electrical sub-assemblies for Bombardier business and commercial aircraft. Operations at the Mexico site now include the manufacture of structural aircraft components, such as the aft fuselage for the renowned Global business jet family, the flight control work package (rudder, elevator and horizontal stabilizer) for the Q400 NextGen turboprop, as well as for CRJ700/900/1000 NextGen and the Challenger 605 aircraft. In addition, since 2010, the primary structure manufacturing and pre-assembly of the Learjet 85 – the first primarily composite structure business jet – takes place in Querétaro.
Bombardier further strengthens its leadership in rail transportation with major orders for light rail vehicles, commuter trains and intercity trains from Germany, France and South Africa respectively. Also in 2006, Bombardier launches the ORBITA predictive maintenance system, SEKURFLO security management system and MITRAC Train Control and Management System (TCMS).
Bombardier continues to grow its business jet portfolio with the introduction of the Challenger 605 intercontinental business jet – the next generation in the Challenger 600 Series – and the Learjet 60 XR midsize business jet – the latest evolution of the proven Learjet 60 jet.The company also launches the Challenger 800 Series corporate shuttles, combining the largest cabin of its class with the outstanding dependability and performance of the CRJ200 airliner.
While André Navarri, the new President and Chief Operating Officer of Bombardier Transportation, develops and implements a comprehensive plan to restructure the group, the manufacturing activities at Bombardier Aerospace are consolidated, notably through the creation of integrated manufacturing centres. In parallel, the two groups recuperate the responsibilities of Bombardier International. The company’s balance sheet is strengthened and its working capital increased.
At year end, Laurent Beaudoin returns to the helm of the company and creates the Office of the President, which includes Pierre Beaudoin and André Navarri.
Bombardier refocuses its activities on rail transportation and aerospace equipment, two sectors that have the greatest potential for profitability and are financially and operationally complementary, following the appointment of Paul Tellier as President and Chief Executive Officer.
The recreational product business is sold and the non-core activities of Bombardier Capital are subject to a progressive and orderly liquidation.
Bombardier launches the Bombardier Global 5000 super-large business jet in February 2002. Later that same year, Bombardier introduces the light Learjet 40 business jet and the Learjet 45 XR superlight business jet. By adding these three aircraft to its portfolio, Bombardier offer the industry’s most complete range of business jets.
A year later, the company adds the Global Express XRS ultra long-range business jet, an improved version of the world’s finest business jet. The aircraft takes the outstanding performance of the Global Express even further, offering greater levels of cabin comfort and technology, while connecting more cities faster than any other business jet.
Bombardier acquires Germany-based DaimlerChrysler AG’s subsidiary DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems GmbH (Adtranz). The Adtranz acquisition gives Bombardier global leadership in the rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry.A year later, Bombardier relocates its Transportation headquarters from Montréal, Canada, to Berlin, Germany. This move strengthens its ability to serve Europe, the world’s largest rail market.
Bombardier acquires Skyjet.com, a pioneer in real-time online air charter reservations. Bombardier expands this service in 2005 with the launch of Skyjet International, giving travellers unrestricted access to more than 900 business jets worldwide. In 2010, Bombardier integrates and re-brands its Skyjet unit under the Flexjet name.