Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), like the rest of the powersports industry, has been hit hard by the current economic recession and has eliminated 550 white-collar jobs and given temporary lay-off notices to 430 blue-collar employees.

Besides cutting jobs, BRP will also reduce overall production in the coming year by 20% to “accurately reflect the retail and inventory realities of the marketplace.”

According to BRP, 80% of the 550 white-collar jobs will be eliminated this month with the remaining 20% over the next nine months. The 430 blue-collar employees laid off in the fourth quarter is in addition to the 370 that were laid off in the third quarter, which ended on Oct. 31, 2008. BRP says the workforce reduction involves all BRP divisions.

“These are very difficult decisions to make but we must take appropriate preventive measures considering the seriousness of the situation,” says José Boisjoli, BRP president and chief executive officer. “We believe these measures will reduce our costs and make BRP less vulnerable to drastic declines in revenues caused by events outside our control, such as the current crisis.”

BRP has also merged the engine divisions (BRP-Rotax and Outboard engines) into one new one called the ‘Powertrain’ division. As well, the new ‘Vehicle Development and Manufacturing’ division will integrate all engineering services for Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo and Can-Am.

Known for creating innovative products, BRP says it will maintain its commitment to research and development, but at a reduced pace.

“We are confident these initiatives will help us come out of the recession a stronger company because this new structure provides us with the tools to focus on cost reductions, market strategies, product launches, product innovation and to maximize synergies in both the Vehicle Development and Manufacturing division and the Powertrain division,” says Boisjoli.



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