History

Throughout its history, Bombardier has consistently responded to challenges and opportunities with tireless innovation, daring creativity and entrepreneurial gusto. Our proven ability to absorb, improve and generate new technologies, processes and management philosophies has long fuelled our competitiveness and growth.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Today’s Bombardier grew out of a young inventor’s inventive genius and entrepreneurial spirit. In 1937, Joseph-Armand Bombardier revolutionized travel on snow-covered terrain by developing the first tracked vehicles to be used for ambulance, mail delivery, freight and school transportation services. Bombardier later became the leader of a new industry with the introduction of the first snowmobile – the legendary Ski-Doo – in 1959. The company no longer manufactures recreational vehicles, a business we sold in 2003.

On Track in Rail Transportation

By the mid-1970s, Bombardier had made a successful entry into rail transportation, with a contract to supply metro cars to the City of Montréal in 1974. A few years later, we won a breakthrough contract to supply subway cars to the New York City Transit Authority, making Bombardier the leader in the North American rail transit market.

Through the 1990s, a series of key acquisitions strengthened our technological leadership in rail transportation and provided a strong foothold in Europe. In 2001, we acquired DaimlerChrysler Rail Systems GmbH (Adtranz), based in Germany, making Bombardier the global leader in the rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry.

Today, more than 100,000 Bombardier railcars and locomotives are in operation around the globe, and Bombardier Transportation is the world leader in the design, manufacturing and servicing of rail transportation solutions.

Taking Flight in Aerospace

Bombardier took its first step into the aerospace sector in 1986, when it acquired Canadair. Through the late-1980s and early-1990s, we further strengthened our aerospace presence and expanding our manufacturing base in Europe and the United States with the acquisition of Short Brothers (Ireland), Learjet Corporation assets (United States) and de Havilland (Canada). Today, Bombardier Aerospace is the world’s third largest civil aircraft manufacturer, having delivered more than 2,450 commercial aircraft and over 3,400 business aircraft worldwide. In addition, since 1989, Bombardier Aerospace has launched 25 successful new aircraft programs.

For more details on the history of Bombardier, visit the History page of our Corporate website.

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Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility

View our 2011 CSR Overview