The aviation crisis, triggered by the terrorist attacks in New York in 2001, creates difficulties for Canadian parent company Bombardier. The general weakness of the economy, combined with rising security costs and declines in demand in the airline sector, leads to losses and cost-cutting. Most airlines have no plans to purchase new aircraft, or to upgrade or add to their route portfolios. Bombardier, the third largest airplane manufacturer in the world, thus decides to sell its leisure division to a group of private investors. These include the Gunskirchen engine manufacturer, alongside plants in Canada, the USA and Finland. The new owners, including the Bombardier family, bring vehicle and engine development together under the umbrella of the newly-founded BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products).
Rotax in Gunskirchen is now solely responsible for producing all BRP Recreational Products engines. More than ever, the focus is on premium powertrain systems. It is important for Rotax to consolidate its leading role in all areas.