Girardin Minibus

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Girardin Minibus
Industry Transportation
Founded 1935[1]
Founder Lionel Girardin
Headquarters 3000 Girardin
Drummondville, Quebec J2E 0A1
Products School buses
Commercial buses
Services Bus sales (Blue Bird)
Divisions Micro Bird, Inc (joint venture with Blue Bird)

Girardin Minibus Inc. based in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada manufactures buses exclusively for the smaller Type A market; these buses are based on chassis provided from Ford or General Motors. Girardin is also a Canadian distributor of Blue Bird school and commercial buses.

As production of the Corbeil brand has shifted south of the border to the Kansas facility of Collins Industries, Girardin is currently the lone Canadian manufacturer of school buses.


Blue Bird by Girardin MB-II
Girardin MB-II, rear view

Girardin traces its roots to 1935, when company founder Lionel Girardin opened a used-car dealership and repair shop in St-Félix-de-Kingsey, Quebec.[1] He expanded into new-car sales in 1953 by opening a Chrysler dealership. In 1958, Girardin entered the school bus market by becoming a school bus dealership.

In 1965, Girardin opened a bus dealership in Drummondville, Quebec; along with bus sales, Girardin converted vans into minibuses (some of the first Type A school buses). In 1981, a dedicated factory was built to keep up with demand; the factory was expanded in 1991 and again in 2000.

In 1991, Girardin Minibus introduced the MB-II and MB-IV school buses; from 1992 to 1999, these were distributed throughout North America using the Blue Bird by Girardin name. In 2005, the MB-IV was replaced with the G5, a redesigned dual rear-wheel Type A school bus.

In 2009, Blue Bird Corporation entered into a joint venture with Girardin to produce Type A school buses. Under the terms of the joint venture, Blue Bird's Micro Bird (in production since 1975) was phased out and replaced by Girardin-designed products built in Drummondville.

Joint Ventures[edit]

Girardin Minibus has twice entered into partnerships with a larger bus manufacturer; both have been with American manufacturer Blue Bird Corporation.

Blue Bird MB-II/MB-IV by Girardin (1992–1999)[edit]

From 1992 to 1999, Girardin and Blue Bird were in a partnership to sell the MB-II and MB-IV Type A school buses in North America. At the time, Girardin was little known outside of Quebec and Blue Bird's own Micro Bird was not available in the single rear-wheel configuration that the MB-II offered. After 1999, Girardin chose to market the MB school buses under its own brand name.

Micro Bird, Inc. (2009–present)[edit]

In October 2009, Girardin re-entered into a joint venture with Blue Bird. This partnership, named Micro Bird, Inc, resulted in the Micro Bird model being discontinued, as Type A school bus construction was transferred from Blue Bird's Georgia facility to Girardin's Drummondville facility. Type A school buses built by Girardin are now branded as Blue Bird Micro Bird by Girardin.[2] The first ever Type A school bus built on Ford Transit chassis replaced the Ford E-series. Known as Micro Bird T-Series.


Girardin Product lineup
Model Name G5 MB-II MB-IV
Blue bird micro bird by girardin 1.jpg
McCluskey bus 6.JPG
Body Configuration Dual rear wheels Single rear wheels Dual rear wheels
  • School Bus
  • Commercial Bus
  • School Bus
  • Commercial Bus
  • Multi-Function School Activity Bus (MFSAB)
  • School Bus
  • Commercial Bus
Chassis Supplier
  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Ford
  • General Motors
  • Ford
  • General Motors
Maximum Seating Capacity
  • 30 (school bus)
  • 25 (commercial bus)
  • 20 (school bus)
  • 12 (commercial bus)
  • 14 (MFSAB)
  • The G5 was introduced in 2005 as a replacement for the MB-IV line.
  • Will replace the Blue Bird Micro Bird under the Micro Bird, Inc. joint venture with Blue Bird Corporation
  • School bus version distributed in the United States as a Blue Bird from 1992 to 1999
  • MFSAB version sold as an alternative to 15-passenger vans.
  • School bus version distributed in the United States as a Blue Bird from 1992 to 1999
  • Replaced by G5 product line.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "HISTORY". Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  2. ^ "Press Releases/BLUE BIRD AND GIRARDIN ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE(2009-10-19)". Archived from the original on 2010-07-24. Retrieved 2010-01-23.