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Snowmobiling just for the fun of it

The Story

The Ski-Doo becomes an instant hit but not for the reasons imagined by J. Armand Bombardier. The Ski-Doo is originally called the Ski-Dog because Bombardier meant it to be a practical vehicle to replace the dogsled for hunters and trappers. But the public soon discovers the speedy vehicles that can zoom over snow are a lot of fun. Suddenly a new winter sport is born, centred in Quebec. In the first year, Bombardier sells 225 Ski-Doos. Four years later 8,210 are sold. But Armand is reluctant to focus too much on the Ski-Doo and move resources away from his all-terrain vehicles. He vividly remembers his earlier business setbacks that forced him to diversify. Armand slows down promotion of Ski-Doo to prevent it from dominating the other products.

Medium: Radio
Program: Assignment
Broadcast Date: March 15, 1962
Guest: Paul Dupré
Reporter: Lloyd Converse
Duration: 4:57

Did You know?

• A typographical error in a Bombardier brochure changed the name Ski-Dog to Ski-Doo. Armand liked the sound of the erroneous name and kept it.
• Élan was the model name for one of Bombardier's first Ski-Doos. It was a slow, rugged machine intended to replace the dogsled.


Bombardier: The Snowmobile Legacy more