Kenworth dealer network invested more than $350 million in past five years to expand customer support

Achieves record number of locations in U.S. and Canada


During the past five years, Kenworth dealers invested more than $350 million in new branches, relocations to enhanced facilities and major improvements in existing stores to expand service capacity, improve dealer efficiency and enhance store appearance.

During that same period, Kenworth Truck Company introduced new truck models, including the K270 and K370 medium duty cabovers; T170, T270 and T370 medium duty conventionals; T440 and T470 with gross vehicle weight (GVW) from 33,000 to 68,000 pounds; diesel-electric hybrids, compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks; the aerodynamic T660 and T700; and now, the new fuel-efficient Kenworth T680.

The combined, major investments provide Kenworth customers with the benefits of both The World's Best product line and a strong Kenworth dealer network focused on customer satisfaction with expanded support," said Reid Nabarrete, assistant Kenworth general manager for marketing and sales.

 

Dealer network

"The Kenworth dealer network opened 18 new facilities alone in 2011 to bring Kenworth to a record of 320 locations in the United States and Canada," Nabarrete said. "For customers, these dealer investments make a statement. The Kenworth dealer network is strong and Kenworth dealers are here to support you."

The Kenworth dealer network's constant commitment to superior satisfaction is demonstrated by Kenworth receiving the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates award for "Highest in Customer Satisfaction for Heavy Duty Truck Dealer Service."

"Dealers were very open to increasing parts and service business during the past several years, and many have singled out the addition of the TRP aftermarket parts program as a catalyst for their growth," Nabarrete said. "Successful truck dealers must achieve a proper balance between new truck sales and good parts and service to prosper. TRP helped them do that."

For example, MTC Kenworth in Ridgefield Park, NJ, succeeded in growing its parts and service business to offset smaller revenue from truck sales. Besides the hard work of employees, dealer principal Rosemary Casagrande attributes MTC Kenworth's success to a customer-oriented focus on providing outstanding service, regardless of the customer's truck make, and to TRP, PACCAR's all-makes parts program introduced three years ago.

"The TRP program required a significant investment in stocking inventory, but it's been a great success because it's opened the door for new business," Casagrande said.

 

Customer needs

Nabarrete said Kenworth's record growth in dealer locations resulted from a recognition by Kenworth and its dealers of their customer needs.

Kenworth dealers are helping fleets with proper maintenance of equipment, he said. Dealers also recognize that by adding driver amenities like sleeping rooms, wireless access, showers and kitchens, they're making their facilities a more compelling location to get their trucks serviced.

"It just makes sense to our dealers to invest capital in existing and new facilities and serve existing and future customer demand than leaving it in the bank and waiting for future demand," Nabarrete added.

MTC Kenworth, for example, invested in providing training to its maintenance personnel and equipping its maintenance shop to service natural gas-powered trucks. This considerable investment allowed Enviro Express and other local companies to add natural gas-powered trucks to their fleet operations, said Casagrande, who added that adding the equipment and getting the training for her technicians as a long-term investment that will pay off. 

MTC has also set up a weight room, showers, and lockers to help make the dealership more user-friendly for drivers waiting for their trucks to be serviced.  The dealership's driver lounge offers wireless internet access allowing drivers to file paper work or get caught up on correspondence, Casagrande said.

And the service department provides a shuttle to get drivers to a motel so they have the option of getting their required hours of rest while waiting for work on their trucks to be finished.

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