February 17, 2020 / 11:47 PM / 2 months ago

Timeline: Bombardier's journey from Ski-Doo maker to business jet maker

(Reuters) - Alstom SA on Monday agreed to buy Bombardier Inc’s train business for up to 6.2 billion euros ($6.7 billion), days after Airbus SE agreed to buy out Bombardier’s remaining stake in the A220 passenger jet program, helping the company improve its financial position.

FILE PHOTO: The 100th Bombardier Regio 2N electric double-deck train, the tenth for the Hauts-de-France region, is pictured at the Bombardier plant in Crespin, near Valenciennes, northern France, October 17, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

Here is a timeline of Bombardier’s evolution from a company selling snowmobiles decades ago, to a plane and train maker in recent years, and now – just a business jet maker after the Alstom deal. The information is sourced from Bombardier’s website and other publicly available information.

1937-1959: Joseph-Armand Bombardier launches the seven-passenger B7 snowmobile, founds the L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limitee and launches the world-famous Ski-Doo.

1970: Bombardier ventures into the railway business with its purchase of motor scooter and tram maker Lohnerwerke and its subsidiary, the engine manufacturer ROTAX.

1974-1982: Bombardier wins its first mass transit contract to manufacture 423 cars for the city of Montréal’s subway system and then goes on to win a $1 billion U.S. contract to supply 825 subway cars for the New York City Transit Authority.

1986: The company expands into the aerospace industry with its buyout of Canadair, maker of Challenger wide-body business jets and the CL-215 amphibious firefighting aircraft.

2001: Bombardier buys Germany-based DaimlerChrysler AG’s subsidiary, propelling it to the position of a global leader in the rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry.

2008: Bombardier launched C-Series program and announces the appointment of Pierre Beaudoin as president and chief executive officer.

2010: Concerns crop up over delays with the C-Series jets, which promised market-beating performance when launched due to new engine technology and a lighter airframe.

2015: Beaudoin steps down as CEO, handing over the reins to Alain Bellemare as the company copes with mounting cost overruns for the C-Series. In October, Quebec announces $1 billion in investment in the C-Series.

2017: Canadian government announces C$372 million aid package for Bombardier in the form of repayable loans. Later that year, Airbus SE takes a majority stake in Bombardier Inc’s C-Series jet program for $1.

2018: Under Bellemare’s leadership, Bombardier pares down repeatedly by selling off its 148-hectare Downsview manufacturing site in Toronto, its Q400 turboprop aircraft program, among others.

2019: Bombardier announces plans to sell off factories in Northern Ireland and Morocco as it consolidates its commercial plane-making business and later agrees to sell its regional jet program to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

Feb 2020: Airbus teams up with the Quebec government to buy Bombardier’s 33.5% stake in the A220 passenger jet program - formerly known as the C Series - completing the Canadian firm’s exit from civil aviation.

Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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