More than 50 years ago, Luigi Tarola emigrated from his native Italy and settled in Toronto. The mechanic started a small gas station that also made auto repairs, then bought a car dealership, and turned his attention to trucks in 1980 by becoming the Kenworth dealer in Toronto.
This year, Kenworth Toronto is marking its 25th anniversary in serving truck customers.
In the 25 years the Tarola family has owned the Kenworth Toronto dealership, the business has sprouted into a network of eight full-service locations employing 300 in Ontario. Kenworth Toronto has locations in Barrie, Bowmanville, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Mississauga, Sudbury, and Concord.
“Our truck sales have increased significantly,” said Vince Tarola, Luigi's son and the current president of Kenworth Toronto. “We are selling many more vocational trucks; today it is half of our business, and we credit the Kenworth T800 for making that possible. Our medium-duty business with the Kenworth T300 also has surged from nothing five years ago to 9% market share today.
“In the past 10 years, our parts business has grown more than sevenfold, and we've seen a similar increase in our service business,” said Vince Tarola.