"The Canadian aerospace industry faces formidable and ferocious competitive forces worldwide. And so, Canadians have to decide whether to make Canada's aerospace industry central to this country's industrial and commercial strategy," says Paul M. Tellier, Bombardier President and Chief Executive Officer. Speaking today to a Canadian Club audience in Toronto, Tellier said "Canada is one of the most trade-oriented economies in the world. More than 40% of our Gross Domestic Product is trade-generated. In fact, one in three jobs in this country is directly dependent on our ability to sell our products elsewhere in the world.
"Canadian companies have made significant investments to develop high technology products such as Bombardier's family of regional jets", Tellier said. "But the Canadian economy needs the next generation of game-changing technologies if our manufacturers are going to continue to compete in international markets."
Tellier provided a brief update on Bombardier's action plan which is on track with every element falling into place as expected. "As a result of this financial restructuring," he said, "we have strengthened our balance sheet, improved our cash flow, got our credit ratings confirmed and hopefully increased our credibility, since we have not departed one iota from what we had stated we would do.
"With the sale of our recreational products business, we have decided our core activity going forward is planes and trains. This new orientation for Bombardier makes it a company of two equal sized units which is the world leader in passenger rail transportation and the third largest aerospace company, right up there with Airbus and Boeing.
"Of course, more needs to be done," he continued, "as we consolidate and grow this company to the level of legitimate expectations of its shareholders, customers and employees."
Tellier also set out to debunk the myth that Bombardier may rely on favoritism and corporate handouts from government in pursuing its objectives. He then described the history of the company as a stunning saga.
Bombardier's products are now recognized internationally - perhaps more so than at home - as sophisticated and prestigious bearers of Canadian know-how and state-of-the-art technologies. Noting that Bombardier's worldwide success has not been without difficulties, Tellier said the company is not immune from criticism.
The bidding process for several of Bombardier's acquisitions in the past as well as for various contracts was then reviewed by Tellier who also covered the issue of government financial support for R&D, product development and exports.
Tellier cited examples of Bombardier's considerable contribution to the Canadian economy. "Bombardier created 9,265 jobs in this country since 1992, to bring its current Canadian workforce to 24,495 employees as of last July 31st. Our Canadian payroll represents $1.6 billion in 2002, and Bombardier employees earn salaries well above the Canadian average. The company provides business to over 5,200 Canadian suppliers spread across the West, Ontario, Québec and the Atlantic, who have in turn created thousands of jobs."
Tellier stated that Bombardier has been a cornerstone of the Canadian aerospace industry and an heir to an industry that has established and sustained a tradition of excellence. He concluded by explaining that Bombardier has always strived to create the level playing field that is essential to a prosperous industry in a liberalized global economy. "We have the will to succeed. We have the state-of-the-art technology. We have the dedicated and competent manpower. We have been and are indeed a good Canadian corporate citizen."
Bombardier Inc., a diversified manufacturing and services company, is a world-leading manufacturer of business jets, regional aircraft, rail transportation equipment and motorized recreational products. It also provides financial services and asset management in business areas aligned with its core expertise. Headquartered in Montréal, Canada, the Corporation has a workforce of some 75,000 people and manufacturing facilities in 25 countries throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2003 stood at $23.7 billion Cdn. Bombardier shares are traded on the Toronto, Brussels and Frankfurt stock exchanges (BBD, BOM and BBDd.F).
Vice President, Public Relations and Communication