Bombardier ramps up Can-Am return plans, purchases Chinese EV company

Bombardier takes another step to facilitate the return of Can-Am with the purchase of Austrian-Chinese electric specialists Great Wall Motors Austria

Can-Am, electric motorcycles

Bombardier Recreational Products has taken another step towards getting its Can-Am brand off the ground again with the purchase of Austrian-Chinese EV company Great Wall Motor Austria.

In May, the Canadian company - best known for its jet business - announced it will make a surprise return to the motorcycle industry with plans to launch a handful of electric models, including e-scooters and full-size models by 2024.

The move revives a nameplate that earned notoriety in the 1970s and 1980s for its high-performance trials bikes that dominated the off-road racing scene at the time. Though the motorcycle arm of the business folded, the moniker has lived on attached to a range of three-wheel models.

With Bombardier looking to capitalise on being an early adopter to what will be a wide scale shift towards electric models over the next few years, it has subsequently purchased Great Wall Motor Austria to speed up development of its electric powertrains.

“We look forward to welcoming the 53 very qualified and experienced engineers, technicians and professionals as we continue reinforcing our EV expertise required to deploy our ambitious strategy. 

“This acquisition will further strengthen our know-how in e-motor, inverter hardware and software development”, said Thomas Uhr, Chief Technology Officer of BRP.

Though based in Austria, the company originates from Great Wall, one of the biggest and most influential automotive manufacturers in the vast Chinese market. 

Great Wall will later this year enter the UK car market for the first time with its ORA sub-brand with the quirky Funky Cat city car. And yes, that is genuinely its name… it was originally named ‘Good Cat’.