Hoover's - A D&B Company - We Make It Easier
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    777 106th Ave NePhone: +1-425-468-7400
    BellevueWAFax: +1-425-468-8228
    United StatesMap Map This Company
    http://www.paccar.comHoover's coverage by Adam Anderson


    William Pigott founded the Seattle Car Manufacturing Company in 1905 to produce railroad cars for timber transport. Finding immediate success, Pigott began to make other kinds of railcars in 1906. When the Seattle plant burned the next year, the company moved near Renton, Washington. In 1911 Pigott renamed the company Seattle Car & Foundry.

    In 1917 Seattle Car merged with the Twohy Brothers of Portland. The new company, Pacific Car & Foundry, was sold to American Car & Foundry in 1924. Pacific Car then diversified into bus manufacturing, structural steel fabrications, and metal technology.

    Pacific Car was in decline by 1934 when William's son Paul bought it; since then the company has remained under family management. Paul Pigott added Hofius Steel and Equipment and Tricoach, a bus manufacturer, in 1936. The company entered the truck-making business with the 1945 purchase of Seattle-based Kenworth.

    In the 1950s Pacific Car became the industry leader in mechanical refrigerator car production. It began producing off-road, heavy trucks and acquired Peterbilt Trucks of Oakland (1958). To augment its winch business, Pacific Car bought Canada's Gearmatic in 1963.

    The company moved its headquarters to Bellevue, Washington, in 1969 and changed its name to PACCAR in 1971. Acquisitions in the 1970s included Wagner Mining Equipment (1973); International Car, the largest US caboose producer (1975); and Braden Winch (1977). In 1980 PACCAR acquired UK-based Foden Trucks.

    Demand for smaller trucks caused heavy-truck sales to drop 35% between 1979 and 1986, leading PACCAR to close two factories, its first closures in 41 years. In 1987 PACCAR bought Trico Industries (oil-drilling equipment). Also that year PACCAR entered the auto parts sales market, buying Al's Auto Supply; in 1988, it bought Grand Auto.

    Truck demand hit a nine-year low in 1990. PACCAR responded by cutting its workforce by 11% that year and withdrawing from the auto parts wholesale market in 1991. The following year PACCAR acquired an interest in Wood Group ESP, a maker and servicer of oil-field equipment. In 1993 PACCAR bought Caterpillar's line of winches.

    In 1995 PACCAR opened a truck assembly plant in South Africa and bought the rest of VILPAC, its truck-making joint venture in Mexico. When workers in Quebec went on strike, the company closed the plant after eight months and shifted production to Mexico.

    PACCAR expanded in Europe in 1996 by acquiring medium- and heavy-duty truck maker DAF Trucks (the Netherlands). Charles Pigott retired in 1996, and his son Mark became chairman and CEO. In 1997 PACCAR sold Trico Industries to EVI. The next year PACCAR bought light- and medium-duty truck maker Leyland Trucks (UK). After an $80 million renovation, the company began producing medium-duty trucks in 1999 at its Quebec plant, which was idled after the strike. That year the company started Paccar.com, a venture capital fund for e-commerce startups, and ePaccar, an e-commerce marketplace for the trucking industry. It also sold its Al's Auto Supply and Grand Auto parts retail operations to CSK Auto for $143 million.

    Slow sales of large trucks prompted the company to lay off about one-third of its hourly -- and almost one-fifth of its salaried -- Peterbilt workers in 2000. In 2001 PACCAR entered a long-term contract with Cummins for the supply of heavy-duty engines. Later that year, in order to bring production in line with worldwide demand, PACCAR closed two truck manufacturing facilities -- the Seattle Kenworth plant and a Foden plant in the UK (the entire Foden line was retired in 2006). The Peterbilt Motors Company plant in Nashville signed a five-year labor agreement with the UAW labor union in 2003.

    Although the demand for PACCAR trucks in the US and Canada (primarily the Kenworth and Peterbilt brands) dipped in 2007, it was offset to a degree by a rise in both European truck sales and aftermarket products. In 2007 truck deliveries in Europe were up 8% over 2006 figures. In an effort to dedicate production efforts of its DAF branded trucks, PACCAR retired the Foden Trucks line of trucks in 2006. Unit deliveries to Australia, Mexico, and other areas not deemed primary regions were up 35%.

    In 2008 the company unveiled an enhanced engine research and development facility at PACCAR's Technical Center, opened a new parts distribution center in Budapest, and achieved a 20% capacity improvement at its Leyland manufacturing facility in the UK.

    While PACCAR expected sales to drop in 2009 by approximately 40,000 -- the reality is, they decreased by 61,000, or about 55% over 2008. With the onslaught of the 2008 economic recession, the company responded by reducing its headcount by 14%.

    The company welcomed a new president at the beginning of 2011. Jim Cardillo, who served PACCAR for more than 20 years, retired at the end of 2010. Ron Armstrong, who counts 17 years with the company -- most recently as executive VP -- was elected to fill the position.

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