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Drummondville, Quebec J2E 0A1
|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.
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. 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.
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)
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)
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.
|Girardin Product lineup|
|Body Configuration||Dual rear wheels||Single rear wheels||Dual rear wheels|
|Maximum Seating Capacity||
- Blue Bird Corporation - distributor of Girardin products in United States; Girardin is distributor of Blue Birds in Canada.
- Cutaway van chassis
- Les Enterprises Michel Corbeil - former Canadian competing manufacturer of small school buses
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Girardin buses.|
- "HISTORY". Retrieved 2010-01-23.
- "Press Releases/BLUE BIRD AND GIRARDIN ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE(2009-10-19)". Retrieved 2010-01-23.