Let’s make this perfectly clear. The arrival of the Lynx brand on these shores is a profoundly important event.
Yes, Lynx is a BRP brand built in Finland and yes, the new Lynx models available for 2022 share significant Ski-Doo and Rotax technology.
Understanding this, it is no less important to have a fifth OEM in this biz – particularly at this juncture in sno-mo history.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?
For José Boisjoli, the now iconic CEO of all things BRP, to pull the trigger and bring Lynx to North America makes a huge statement about the health and potential of our sport.
Don’t forget it was Boisjoli who had the foresight to launch a snowmobile which completely obsoleted everything in the market – radically changing the modern snowmobile with the intro of the original REV platform in 2003. This was incredibly risky and amounted to Boisjoli having the guts to go all-in and make the biggest gamble in the history of the sport – at that time.
Launching Lynx with full force into the North American market is a gamble on a similar level (but not quite as risky) as was the launch of the 2003 REV.
WHAT DOES BOISJOLI SEE?
BRP, under Boisjoli’s leadership did not bring Lynx to North America without enormous soul searching. In fact, I had the privilege of participating in a top secret evaluation of specific Lynx models over four years ago in a remote northern locale.
At that time the participants in attendance pretty much determined the Lynx brand had significant, tangible cache. I felt there was at the very least Corvette appeal if not something more exotic like Porsche exclusivity.
I was interviewed and surveyed out the wazoo over the one day we had to sample Lynx models and compare them to existing Ski-Doos and other brand;s current sleds. The volume of data collected that day was nothing in comparison to the information accumulated and assimilated by BRP in the ensuing time leading up to the 2022 intro.
SKI-DOO VS LYNX?
Sources at BRP have indicated a contingent was concerned if Lynx was positioned as a “premium” brand it might undermine Ski-Doo’s solid number one market share position. Boisjoli was faced with an “either-or” decision and obviously pulled the trigger on bringing Lynx to this side of the pond and deliberately positioning it as a premium, pricier brand.
Seems José should buy more lottery tickets because the instant Lynx hit the ground in North America late last winter the entire allotted production for Lynx sleds was early-ordered by rabid, foaming-at-the- mouth-with-cash-in-hand buyers. The gamble paid off – again.
We thought BRP would sign up Lynx-only dealers in markets where all the brands are currently represented, including Ski-Doo. This might still happen, however, as we understand it, approved, high volume, high profile Ski-Doo dealers are among the first to hang a Lynx sign on their businesses.
WHO IS PAULIE PIIPPOLA?
I’ll close by answering this provocative question. Think Roger Skime. Pauli Piippola is the brains behind many Lynx innovations not the least of which is his PPS uncoupled, dual shock, rising rate rear skid. Piippola also has a very unique front IFS design used on older Lynx models – maybe we’ll see a variant in the future.
Simply put, Piippola is a genuine icon and the reverence and respect he is afforded by his engineering team in Finland is measurable.
BTW, I got to ride with him four years ago when he was only 70 years old and just like Skime, he can rip.