It’s a team effort for a new tri-brand dealership

by Katy de Vries

LONDON, Ont. – Team Truck Centres is continuing to consolidate at its new location on Wilton Grove Road, and is now officially a Tri-Brand dealership.

Team was led by Bob O’Dowda, until he handed over the reigns to his son in 1987. Almost five years later, Team acquired Western Ontario Truck Centres, which allowed it to take on the Freightliner brand and just recently began offering Sterling and Western Star brands as well, in three of the four Team locations.

“Originally, Freightliner had chosen to keep the three franchises separate, but has since changed its strategy and has decided that in many markets it makes sense to have three dealerships under one roof if it can be accommodated without too much interruption,” current president Rob O’Dowda says.

London is the perfect candidate for such a merger, because the larger city environment enables Team to better deal with the overhead costs associated with a larger facility, he says.

The new facility is located directly off Hwy. 401 and is clearly visible to those travelling the main artery through Ontario which was instrumental in the decision to create its new facility where they did, O’Dowda says.

“The majority of our customer base travel up and down the 401 on a fairly regular basis, so this location allows us to support our customers more effectively,” he says.

The Tri-Branding has also enabled Team to better care for its customers at both the Sarnia and Windsor border crossings because those locations now have full dealership capabilities for all three brands.

“Ease of access is just as, if not more, important as visibility when choosing a dealership location,” O’Dowda says.

This is one reason that Team will soon expand the new facility to house its headquarters, he adds.

“Our plan is to break ground here sometime within the next several months to complete the head office expansion and that should take us into the fall,” says O’Dowda.

In the meantime, Team will continue to maximize efforts at the new location, work on expanding the sales team, as well as the used truck operations and the technician staff, and after this is complete, it plans on holding a grand opening, O’Dowda says.

Market fluctuations have worked to its advantage, according to O’Dowda and his team.

“While the market is recovering and on the rise, we will use that opportunity to get everything online at this facility, do some upgrading and renovations at our other locations, in order to improve the working environment for our personnel and so we can better service our customers,” he says.

There are lots of opportunities for Team staff, according to O’Dowda.

“We will be looking at opportunities to integrate vertically where it makes sense. We have a lot available to us right now – it’s exciting.”

The Team staff is what got the company through the move and the expansion so gracefully, he says.

“As a result of the consolidations, two terrific organizations have come together and everyone has worked really hard which has made it a perfect fit,” O’Dowda says.

He feels the groups complement each other and says: “It will only get better from here, continuing to improve.”

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  • Hey Rob, Pat here from Hickory Ridge. Just wanted to let you know i have gotten out of the seasonal business. I am now the sales rep for a Direct Mailing Company called Strictly Addressing. I would love to talk to you about my new venture and to catch up.