ETOBICOKE, Ont. — Vision Truck Group officially hosted the grand opening of its brand new 61,000 sq-ft facility on Friday.
The day saw a variety of food trucks out front for lunch, swanky door prizes, and facility tours for the 350 anticipated attendees.
The bright new facility is the result of what president John Slotegraaf called the result of “tremendous growth.”
“At our old place, we were just maxed out,” he said. “So with this new facility we will be able to serve the customer better and continue our growth in the market.”
The facility was built on seven acres and boasts a driver lounge, staff lunch room, showers and locker rooms for drivers and staff and eight drive through bays. It is located at 415 Evans Ave in Etobicoke, a city that is near and dear to Slotegraaf who said the move was strategic.
“Staying here in Etobicoke was strategic on a couple of fronts,” he said. “We’ve always has a facility in Etobicoke that we were leasing. But, it wasn’t the image or the size…and didn’t have anything that we needed to take care of the customer. The rationale of staying here in Etobicoke, instead of going elsewhere, is that there is no one else here, servicing the market. All the other OEMs have moved out of this Etobicoke/Toronto core…so we see this as an underserviced market from a dealership standpoint.”
Plus, said Slotegraaf, Mack Trucks has its roots in Etobicoke.
“Back in the day, Mack Trucks Canada had their corporate office here, so we felt that keeping it here was sort of a return to the market for Mack Trucks, so that was another driving force,” he said.
Construction of the new facility took eight months, and right now, Vision is working on hiring more staff to fill up the office and shop space.
“The staff is an evolution,” Slotegraaf said. “We had very minimal staff at the old facility so we’ve been growing our staff every week. We continue to add technicians…but all said and done, we anticipate, conservatively to have 50 people working out of this facility. Which would also give us some extra room to grow.”
Looking forward, Slotegraaf said he hopes the new building brings in more business and allows Vision to serve its customer better.
“It’s really about establishing the brand back in this marketplace and getting it back to the stage that it rightly deserves, which is (Mack as) the number one brand in the GTA,” he said. “We need a world class facility to do that and take care of the customers. Because if we can take care of the customers, more people are going to buy Mack Trucks and the happier everyone is on our end.”
Sonia Straface is the associate editor of Truck News and Truck West magazines. She graduated from Ryerson University's journalism program in 2013 and enjoys writing about health and wellness and HR issues surrounding the transportation industry. Follow her on Twitter: @SoniaStraface. All posts by Sonia Straface