BRP is pretty serious about its plans to go electric. As we expect a Can-Am battery bike release in coming weeks, we also see news about another big move. Can-Am has bought Great Wall Motor Austria, which is a subsidiary of China-based Great Wall Motor.
What does this company do? According to the press release, “This leading EV R&D centre based in Kottingbrunn, Austria, specializes in e-drive systems and transmissions and currently employs highly skilled individuals who will receive ongoing employment as part of this agreement.” Apparently 53 people work there, and as the business is located close to Vienna, it’s supposedly ideally placed to recruit from the city’s universities. Uh, hardly seems like something to get too excited about.
However, it does make sense for BRP to snap up another Austrian company, as its longtime ownership of Rotax has paid off many, many times over. Perhaps this is some sort of plan to merge Rotax’s expertise with a new EV tech company, to continue that success story for decades to come? The press release doesn’t tell us much, only giving us a quote from BRP’s chief technology officer Thomas Uhr, saying that “This acquisition will further strengthen our know-how in e-motor, inverter hardware and software development.”
Again, not much to go on. But as BRP moves forward into a future that outlaws gasoline engines, it’s deals like this that will ensure the company stays in business. This acquisition trend is happening everywhere in the powersports industry, and even if BRP has its own EV plans already, deals like this are key to moving forward.