More than 100 senior management staff were in attendance for the 2015 annual PACCAR Australia Dealership Awards, including 27 Kenworth Dealer Principals from all over Australia, competing for the highly sought-after honour of being recognised for excellence in dealer performance, truck sales, parts sales, finance and customer support.
Mike Dozier, Managing Director of PACCAR Australia, handed the 2015 Kenworth Dealer of the Year award to Glenn Leake, the Dealer Principal of Mildura Truck Centre (MTC), praising his team for its continued excellence throughout their business, as well as for setting a strong example for others in the Kenworth network of dealerships.
“Mildura Truck Centre has made a major impact on the dealership network over the past twelve months – and indeed the Australian road transport industry – both in terms of its commitment to its customers and as a top sales performer,” announced Mike.
“The company has provided the market with the highest possible standards of professionalism, excelling in all areas of the dealership from parts, to service, and after-sales support.”
This is the first time in its 40 year history the MTC Kenworth DAF dealership has won the highest Kenworth award; although finishing close to the top on a number of occasions.
Dealer Principal Glenn Leake was humble in his comments after accepting the trophy.
“We just try and provide the best service we can and work hard on keeping the customer happy; the rest will follow.”
MTC Kenworth DAF scored points for exceptional market share, as well as service absorbency, which was far higher than the benchmark. Their finance department was rated second in the overall dealer group for performance.
Situated on the corner of 7th Street and Benetook Avenue, which is the heavy bypass road through Mildura, the MTC Kenworth DAF dealership has one of the finest facilities in the country. Completed in September 2013, MTC Kenworth DAF built a new, stand-alone, parts showroom and warehouse. The 400 square metre parts warehouse and separate showroom holds approximately $1.4 million of parts inventory.
Also, their new 6m x 30m drive-through workshop bays incorporate three full-length 25 metre pits, a drive-through wash bay and a full-length overhead crane. The MTC Kenworth DAF service department employs 27 staff, including a night shift that operates until 10pm Monday to Thursday, as well as a 24/7 breakdown service.
“Our dealership success is complemented by a team of sales, service and support professionals. We can’t do it without all our staff and their dedication for good, old-fashioned, hard work,” Glenn noted.
With a staff of 48 in Mildura, the company also recently purchased a branch in Swan Hill, which is operated by a further 25 staff. The facility was originally a competitor parts and service dealer, until MTC Kenworth DAF converted it.
“The overall business has grown significantly since the Swan Hill purchase and revenue has increased by more than four-fold. And our staff numbers down there at Swan Hill have risen from eight to twenty five in just a short period since its opening, so things have improved for us in more ways than one.”
The Mildura Group looks after an area stretching from Renmark in South Australia up to the top of the New South Wales and Queensland border, across to Balranald in the Riverina district, and down to Sea Lake in the Mallee district of Victoria.
Glenn explained there’s a range of customers who have been responsible for their success in 2015; both large and small fleet operators who mostly transport fruit and vegetable produce for the local and export market. But he also remarked that there’s a flipside to the success…
“The customers aren’t making a lot of money at the moment. Their margins have been squeezed and paying the bills in general is a challenge. The tight economy has no doubt been the biggest challenge for us but a positive attitude has kept everyone up.”
It was 1976 when the company took on the franchise and began selling the Kenworth product; therefore 2016 marks forty great years of the long-term relationship between Mildura Truck Centre and PACCAR Australia.
The history of MTC Kenworth DAF goes back even further, when Glenn’s father, Ken Leake, arrived in Mildura and purchased a small service station back in 1951. It was named Buronga Truck Sales and Service. Ken, a mechanic by trade, started the business fixing cars and trucks. Glenn began working in the family business in 1979 as an apprentice mechanic and his brother Rod came on board in the 1990s.
Ken retired in 2001 and sadly has since passed away. Rod and Glenn have taken the reins and grown all divisions of the business, including the parts department, which Rod manages.
“I’d like to thank PACCAR Australia and Kenworth for the product they produce and the quality of it. I’d also like to thank my family – my wife and my mother Valli, who is 83 years old this year and in the room tonight. I’d like to dedicate the award to my father, Ken, who started all this a long time ago,” said Glenn as he accepted the award.
Kenworth trucks are designed and manufactured in Australia to meet the world’s toughest applications. Kenworth, a division of PACCAR Australia, is market leader in heavy-duty trucks in Australia. Its trucks are also exported to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. PACCAR Inc, a Six Sigma company, is a global technology leader in the design, manufacture and customer support of light, medium and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF brands. PACCAR also designs and manufactures advanced diesel engines, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.
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