In the years of the financial crisis, demand diminishes significantly. Rotax’ Canadian parent BRP is forced to reduce production volumes. Austerity measures mean the group is restructured. The previously separate engine branches of BRP Rotax and Evinrude outboard motors are merged in Gunskirchen to form a new “Powertrain” division. Executive manager Gerd Ohrnberger takes over the leadership.
POWERTRAIN DIVISIONGunskirchen site becomes control center of a BRP division
THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC DOWNTURN PROMPTS CHANGES
ENGINE PRODUCTION IS ALSO ADJUSTED
Concentrating engine production in the Powertrain division enhances the Gunskirchen site still further. The company intends this site to give rise to new global developments in drive technologies. “As the control center of the powertrain division, we are clearly positioning ourselves within the group away from being a supplier and towards becoming a pioneer in the development of new drive technologies”, says MD Gerd Ohrnberger says in an interview with OÖN (Upper Austrian News) in 2009. The development of innovative drive technologies is not only prompted by economic considerations, however. It's not only the economic situation, but politics, too - tightening of environmental legislation presents Rotax with great challenges. R&D at Gunskirchen have to take stricter emissions limits and regulations into account. As a result of new European standards, production of two stroke industrial engines is discontinued, and Sea-Doo production switches to four stroke engines in order to comply with the new environmental guidelines. Within a few years, Rotax proves that it also has the necessary flexibility and adaptability to play a pioneering role in drive technologies in the decade to come. Just a few years later, the opening of the RIC (Regional Innovation Center) lifts the project to a new level.
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