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North Pole expedition by Ski-Doo

Joseph-Armand Bombardier was a shy, determined mechanic who dreamed of building a vehicle that could "float on snow". In 1937 the first snowmobile rolled out of his small repair shop in Valcourt, Que. and a legendary company was born. Over the years, Bombardier continued to perfect his dream and found that winter-bound Canadians were eager to come along for the ride. Bombardier changed the way we travel over snow and he established a Canadian manufacturing giant along the way.

In a 1968 promotional event, Bombardier helps sponsor a successful Ski-Doo expedition to the North Pole which includes Armand's nephew Jean-Luc Bombardier. The event highlights a new direction for the company. The young, energetic team that now runs Bombardier decides to focus on one product -- the Ski-Doo. In 1966, son-in-law Larent Beaudoin becomes company president and he orchestrates the promotion of the Ski-Doo beyond Quebec's borders. Beaudoin hires an English, Toronto-based advertising firm and steadily increases the marketing budget.

Bombardier launches television advertising campaigns and takes out full-page magazine ads in publications such as Outdoor Life. The company also promotes Ski-Doos by entering them in increasingly popular snowmobile races. The advertising and promotion pay off. Snowmobiling is one of the fastest growing sports in the 1960s. Many other American companies such as Polaris and Arctic Cat have entered the recreational snowmobile market -- following the Ski-Doo design -- but Bombardier dominates the competition.
.In 1967 the company changed its name from L'Auto-Neige Bombardier to Bombardier Ltd. The name was changed to Bombardier Inc. in 1981.
.One of the most successful Ski-Doo models was called the Olympique. Introduced in 1964, it had distinctive bright yellow trim and increased speed because of Bombardier's newly acquired Rotax engine. Bombardier sold 265,000 Olympiques before it was discontinued in 1979. The popular Ski-Doo was commemorated with a special Canada Post stamp.
Medium: Radio
Program: Matinee
Broadcast Date: April 22, 1968
Guest(s): Ralph Plaisted
Reporter: Charles LaSalle
Duration: 3:09

Last updated: January 25, 2012

Page consulted on February 13, 2014

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