This year marks 30 years of Western Star Trucks Australia. It all started back in 1983, when Western Star Trucks Australia (WSTA) was formed and 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 they were crazy, as a slo
w economy combined with a slump in truck sales and an already overcrowded truck market was the reality.
WSTA had other ideas though. A pool of ex White Motor Company staff brought their production expertise to the company, and tools and equipment were purchased at auction from the then defunct White Motor Company operation.
The White “Road Boss” was a popular truck and had created a ready customer base for WSTA to grow with. 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.
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. Western Star Trucks 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 it did when it 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 said the company: “the ultimate in comfort, power, convenience and durability”.
The 30th Anniversary celebrations in Australia will take on many forms. A Limited Edition 30th Anniversary 4900FXT truck is being released with a special paint scheme, badging, accessories and RM Williams owners pack; the new 4700SB product has been revealed at a journalist event and is about to be released to the market; a commemorative 2013 calendar has been released to celebrate the Western Star product and its loyal customer base; a new website has been launched, complete with social media links such as the Western Star Trucks Australia Facebook page, which timelines 30 years of history in Australia; an update to its very popular Truckie’s Mate App; an Australian spec’d Western Star 4900FXC road train prime mover will be the focal point at the Western Star stand at the Mid America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky in March; and the Western Star stand will feature prominently at the Brisbane Truck Show in May.
“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. “Western Star Trucks Australia and the dealer group are proud of the milestone and we look forward to the year ahead and the release of our new products and the roll-out of the communications program.”
More information can be found at www.westernstar.com.au.