Western Star Trucks celebrates 30 years in Australia

Western Star Trucks Australia (WSTA) is celebrating three decades in Australia in 2013. “Twenty-thirteen is a historic year for Western Star as we celebrate our 30 year anniversary of doing business in Australia,” said Western Star General Manager Marketing, Don Hanson – announcing the release of new products and the roll-out of a special communications program.

In 1983, WSTA first secured the distribution rights for the Western Star product in Australia from Western Star Trucks Inc, based in Kelowna, BC Canada. “At the time, the industry thought we were crazy, as a slow economy combined with a slump in truck sales and an already overcrowded truck market was the reality,” said Hanson.

Despite the discouraging framework, WSTA gathered a pool of ex White Motor Company staff, tools and equipment, using the White “Road Boss” model as a base to build on. The first Australian Western Star was built in March of 1983 at the current Wacol QLD facility, and went in to service in July of the same year.

Reportedly, WSTA sold 53 Stars in that first year, and 30 years on over 15,000 will have been sold by the end of 2013. The original head office and production facility at Wacol, QLD has grown from a small “office and shed” to now over 15 acres, including a 15,000 square-metre Parts Distribution Centre.

From the original eight employees back in 1983, the company has grown, taking on the MAN and Dennis Eagle products to form the Transpacific Commercial Vehicles Group, which is a division of Transpacific Industries. The Commercial Vehicles group now employs over 270 people. WSTA is supported by a large and dedicated dealer group across Australia, some of which have been representing Western Star since day one in 1983.

“Western Star’s reputation for designing, building and distributing heavy-duty trucks is well-known around the world. But as with any good reputation, it wasn’t built overnight,” said Hanson. “We started in 1967 from a manufacturing plant in Kelowna, BC Canada and was founded on the belief that the driver is the most valuable asset in trucking.  More than a mantra, this belief became the cornerstone on which Western Star's history of innovation and customisation would be built.

“Today, Western Star’s are built in a dedicated, modern production facility in Portland, Oregon. And although advances in technology have made manufacturing faster than ever, you'll find that we build every truck in the same manner we did when we started 46 years ago: by hand. It's this attention to detail and drivers' needs that have made the Western Star truck what it is today: the ultimate in comfort, power, convenience and durability.”

According to Hanson, the 30th anniversary celebrations in Australia will take on many forms. A Limited Edition 30th Anniversary 4900FXT truck will be available soon with a special paint scheme, badging, accessories and RM Williams owners pack; the new 4700SB product is about to be released to the market; a 2013 calendar has been unveiled; a new website has been launched; an update to the brand's Truckie’s Mate App is now available; and the Western Star stand will also feature prominently at the Brisbane Truck Show in May.

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