With more than 200,000 square-feet of exhibit space, and nearly 300 exhibitors, the Canadian trucking community is descending upon Montreal and the ExpoCam 2017 this week. While Kenworth’s medium and heavy duty trucks will be on display inside the Place Bonaventure, its medium duty line will also be traveling the streets of Montreal, a short drive from where they were produced.
“Kenworth medium duty trucks are locally built with a lot of pride at PACCAR’s Ste. Therese factory,” said Mike Parent, general manager of Kenworth Montreal, which has sent a T370 dump to join a T680 76-inch sleeper, T880 dump and W900L in Kenworth’s ExpoCam booth (#4239). “We hold customer events at the factory and showcase the amount of care and quality built into every Kenworth medium duty conventional. A quality-designed and built truck is our competitive advantage, and a factory tour reinforces that message.”
According to Chakib Toubal-Seghir, Ste. Therese’s plant manager, more than 167,000 medium duty trucks have been built at the factory since 1999, and innovations and quality improvements continue to be made. “We never stop advancing our processes,” he said. “We have a dedicated workforce, augmented with the precision of robotics. Last year, we had more than 1,110 visitors and customers visit our factory. Our employees are always very proud to work in front of customers, to showcase the level of expertise and care that goes into the build of the trucks.”
For William Pasquini, sales and purchase manager at Discount Car and Truck Rentals, the factory tour he took when his five T370s were being built was eye-opening. “I was so impressed,” he said. “The first thing you notice is the cleanliness – you just don’t expect a pristine environment within a manufacturing facility. Everything was so organized up and down the line, with assemblers checking their work to ensure quality. I was also impressed with some of the machinery – one piece would lift and flip the entire chassis to optimize ergonomics for workers. The paint bay, with all the robotics and environmental safeguards, was revolutionary in my opinion.”
According to Pasquini, at the end of the tour, he even got to do the Dyno test on his own truck. “That really concluded a great day at the factory,” he said. “It was very special to see our own trucks being built, then actually running the engine on the Dyno for final inspection.”
When Discount Car and Truck Rentals’ first truck was delivered, Pasquini said they did a special promotion to announce the trucks to its customers. “It showcased how we were a Quebec company, with a Quebec-built Kenworth and a Quebec body. It was our local pride showing.”
Discount Car and Truck Rentals executives are shown at the Kenworth Montreal dealership with one of their Kenworth T370s produced by the PACCAR Ste. Therese factory in Quebec. From left, are Guillaume Chénard, Kenworth Montreal truck sales manager; Louis Leclair, president, Transit (Truck Bodies); Mike Parent, Kenworth Montreal general manager; Discount Car and Truck Rentals executives Joe Spano, vice president of fleet operations, and William Pasquini, sales and purchase manager; and Melanie Belanger, Kenworth Montreal sales representative.
Pasquini said the Kenworth T370s have been a big hit with customers. “So much that we have another eight on order,” he said. “When we started offering the T370 for short term rentals, the response was tremendous. It’s our high-end truck and demand continues to grow – it’s why we’re adding more to our fleet.”