Although the Mack® Brothers' first vehicle was a sightseeing bus built in 1900, they soon added trucks to their product line. By 1911, they had become one of the largest builders of heavy-duty motor trucks in the U.S. The product had quickly gained a reputation for being reliable and well built. This was exactly the type of truck that was also needed in Canada.
In 1912, the Fairbanks-Morse Company of Montreal was set up as the first Canadian sales agent. Sales were very slow at first as the truck was still an unproven and expensive alternative to horses in most applications. This changed during the First World War as trucks finally proved that they were the superior mode of transportation. After the war, many of the newly nicknamed "BULLDOG" AC models ended up in the Canadian market.
This growing market North of the border did not go unnoticed in Allentown, and in 1921 the first official Mack-owned sales outlet was established in Canada. A small building was selected on Vanualey Street in the downtown area of Toronto.
All sales and service of Canada was handled by this one location, but as sales increased, more outlets were added, such as the first distributor, Marshalls Garage in St. Johns, Newfoundland in 1924, and the second Mack branch in Montreal in 1929. During the "Roaring Twenties" Mack sales increased rapidly from 41 units in 1926 to 208 units in 1929. Virtually all of these were sent up by rail from Allentown, but a few CKD (Chassis Knock-Down) units were also shipped up to Toronto for local assembly.
It was not until after World War II that Mack really started to grow in Canada. In the mid 1940s offices moved to Montreal to take advantage of the booming construction market. Expansion continued in all parts of the country with new distributors, service dealers and a new Mack branch on Strachan Avenue in Toronto.
During the 1950s there was a tremendous amount of highway construction in Canada and higher gross vehicle weights were being allowed. There were, however, still a lot of unpaved highways in much of the country and a rugged versatile truck like the Mack B model was ideal for the market.
Demand for the Mack product soon required improved facilities. The office was moved back to Toronto and in 1959 a new branch and office was built on the Queensway. A branch had also been established in Winnipeg in 1958 and distributors were now operating in many major cities across Canada.
The U.S.-Canada Auto Pact Agreement in 1964 provided a great incentive to build in Canada as it allowed the duty-free trade of trucks and production parts. The first plant was built on land at the back of the Queensway location in Toronto. But it was far too small to meet the market needs. As a result, a new plant was opened in 1966 in Oakville -- about 20 miles west of Toronto. It was just in time to build the new Mack R model truck.
During the 1970s the Canadian economy was very strong; the Oakville factory underwent a major expansion and was soon turning out 26 trucks per day. This expansion allowed the facility to build virtually every Mack model except fire trucks and cab-overs. It even built the big M series off-highway trucks.
The growing number of Mack trucks needed parts, so new distribution centers were set up in Vancouver in 1973 and in Bramalea (north of Toronto) in 1976. Other departments, such as data processing and engineering, also expanded. The engineering department designed such Canadian models as the DMM(EX) tandem front axle truck especially for the construction market in 1972, the CL350ST off-highway logger in 1976, and the RD800 model in 1980 which was ideal for the logging, oil field, and coal mine markets.
The Mack Trucks Canada of today strives to achieve quality performance -- what our customers deserve. It is now a reorganized Sales and Service company which faces the challenge of a very competitive and rapidly changing market. The distribution network includes 40 full line distribution locations and 63 service dealers, supported by the head office and parts distribution center in Mississauga. Mack Trucks Canada is part of the Volvo Group of companies; all trucks are built in New River Valley, Virginia and Macungie, Pennsylvania.
Mack Trucks Canada's goal is to be a key player on the Mack Trucks, Inc. team. To do this, it offers ingenious solutions to the challenges of an ever-demanding market, unsurpassed customer satisfaction, and products, parts and services that translate into greater value for the customer.