A Century of Innovation: Kenworth Turns 100 in 2023

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The Limited Edition W900L. Photo Kenworth

Throughout the last century, more than 1.3 million trucks have hauled goods across Canada and the United States roadways with the Kenworth badge on the grill. In 2023, Kenworth begins a year-long celebration, commemorating its 100th anniversary and contributions to the transportation industry.

The history of Kenworth began in 1923 when Harry W. Kent and Edgar K. Worthington incorporated the Gersix Motor Company as Kenworth. The company name was formed from a combination of letters from the founders’ last names while the world-renown Kenworth “bug” logo originated from the K in Kent and W in Worthington.

That first year, the small Seattle truck manufacturer produced 78 six-cylinder, gasoline-powered trucks. Since then, Kenworth has produced more than a million Class 5 to Class 8 models, and super heavy-duty trucks, like the C500 6×6 with its gross combination weight rating of 1 million pounds. Kenworth is also now producing medium and heavy-duty battery electric vehicles.

“Kenworth’s storied history over the past 100 years provides much to be proud about. From being the first U.S. truck manufacturer to offer a diesel engine as standard equipment in 1933 to selling Kenworth trucks with an electric powertrain today, it’s been quite a journey,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth General Manager and PACCAR Vice President. “We’re also especially proud of our leadership in truck aerodynamics with the Kenworth T600 introduction in 1985. That model began the revolution in fuel-efficient trucks and its evolution has tremendously advanced in the new flagship T680 that sets industry standard today in truck aerodynamics.”

Success and staying power

Kenworth’s success and staying power in a competitive business can be traced back to a philosophy established early in the firm’s history. The goal was to build the right Kenworth truck for each customer’s application to get the job done and build that truck to last. That philosophy, which continues to be true to this day, resulted in Kenworth establishing a solid reputation for its quality, innovative and durable trucks driven by state-of-the-art technology.

“Kenworth has remained true to its core values since its founding,” said Baney. “We’ve achieved many amazing accomplishments in our first 100 years. But there’s more work to be done at Kenworth as we drive the next 100 years and continue our mission of producing The World’s Best trucks.”

Kenworth Truck Company, founded in 1923, is the manufacturer of The World’s Best heavy and medium-duty trucks. Throughout 2023, Kenworth is celebrating its historic 100th anniversary. To learn more about the 100th-anniversary celebration visit Kenworth100.com. Kenworth is “Driving the Next 100 Years.” Kenworth’s Internet home page is at Kenworth.com. Kenworth is a PACCAR company.

Kenworth celebrates its 100th Anniversary with the W900L Limited Edition (left) and the T680 Signature Edition (right). Photo Kenworth

Kenworth dealer awards

Kenworth Maska of Quebec, Canada received the prestigious 2022 Kenworth Dealer of the Year Award for the United States and Canada at the recent annual Kenworth Dealer Meeting in San Diego. The meeting kicked off this year’s Kenworth 100th-anniversary celebration with the theme “Driving The Next 100 Years.”

“The 2022 Kenworth Dealer of the Year award is a very special achievement that honours Kenworth Maska employees for their superior daily efforts to provide excellent Kenworth heavy and medium trucks, parts and service to our customers,” said Pierre Letendre, Chairman of the Board of Kenworth Maska, which operates eight dealerships and two TRP locations from the south shore of Montréal to Eastern Québec. “We thank each and every employee for their dedication, and we thank our customers for choosing to do business with Kenworth Maska.”

“Kenworth Maska earned the 2022 Kenworth Dealer of the Year Award with exceptional performance highlighted in our dealer excellence measurement categories,” said Kevin Baney, Kenworth General Manager and PACCAR Vice President. “Kenworth Maska has been among the top Kenworth dealers for many years. Congratulations to The World’s Best Dealer for 2022.”

Kenworth Maska’s key achievements included exceptional heavy-duty truck market share, Kenworth PremierCare Gold leadership, PACCAR engine mix, service bay capacity, online parts counter growth, and successful TRP stores.

Kenworth Maska executives were presented with an Italian hand-crafted crystal eagle inlaid with 24-karat gold talons. Kenworth Maska previously won Kenworth’s 2018 Dealer of the Year award.

Kenworth also presented 10 Gold dealer excellence awards in addition to PACCAR Engines, Kenworth PremierCare Gold, Medium Duty, Parts and Service, and TRP All-Makes Dealer of the Year awards.

Kenworth Gold Awards

The Kenworth Gold Award is presented to a select number of Kenworth dealers each year that achieve the highest level of performance in the Kenworth dealer network. Kenworth Maska was selected as Kenworth Dealer of the Year among Kenworth’s 10 Gold Award winners for 2022.

Other Gold award winners are Hissong Kenworth, Kenworth Montréal, Kenworth of Indianapolis, Kenworth of Jacksonville, MHC Kenworth – Colorado, MHC Kenworth – Georgia, MHC Kenworth – Kansas City, Wallwork Kenworth and Wichita Kenworth.

Hissong Kenworth rated high in the Kenworth Dealer Top Ten with 100% Kenworth PremierCare Gold certified dealer locations, facilities investment and excellence with a new dealership in Cleveland, electronics certified technicians, service operations, and PACCAR retail sales and parts purchase growth.

Kenworth Montréal achieved a strong heavy-duty truck market share and also ranked in the Top Ten in Kenworth PremierCare Gold, battery electric vehicle orders, service velocity, PACCAR Parts e-Commerce volume and TRP stores.

Kenworth of Indianapolis reached Top Ten status in PACCAR MX engines sold, facilities and dealer service excellence, service velocity and extended service hours. The dealer also registered excellent results in TRP stores and volume of PACCAR Parts fleet, e-Commerce parts and engine parts sales.

Kenworth of Jacksonville placed high in the percent of trucks sold with PACCAR MX engines, 100% Kenworth PremierCare Gold certified status, PacLease operations and parts purchase quota.

MHC Kenworth – Colorado had Top Ten finishes in both heavy duty and medium duty truck share, 100% PremierCare Gold certification, number and percent of PACCAR MX engines sold, facilities and dealer service excellence, and Call Center Response.

MHC Kenworth – Georgia rated high in the number and percent of PACCAR MX engines sold and had excellent achievement in its PACCAR Parts operations.

MHC Kenworth – Kansas City recorded 100% Kenworth PremierCare Gold certification. The dealer achieved a number of Top Ten categories, including heavy duty and medium duty market share, number and percent of trucks sold with PACCAR MX engines, facilities excellence, and percent of both PACCAR MX and electronics certified engine technicians.

Wallwork Kenworth attained Top Ten status in heavy-duty truck market share, percentage of PACCAR MX certified technicians, service bay capacity, extended service hours and PACCAR Parts retail sales growth.

Wichita Kenworth ranked well in heavy-duty truck market share, Kenworth PremierCare Gold service excellence, percentage of PACCAR MX certified technicians and service bay velocity.

Kenworth PremierCare Gold Dealer of the Year: MHC Kenworth North Carolina received the Kenworth PremierCare Gold Dealer of the Year award, which emphasizes the importance of offering excellent service to Kenworth customers. All 10 of its dealership locations earned Kenworth PremierCare Gold certification with two locations offering 24/7 service.

Kenworth PACCAR Engines Dealer of the Year: Wichita Kenworth received Kenworth’s PACCAR Engines Dealer of the Year honours. The dealer achieved an impressive PACCAR MX engine sales share, high heavy-duty truck share, strong service bay capacity, and 100% Kenworth PremierCare Gold certification for all four of its locations.

Kenworth Medium Duty Dealer of the Year: MHC Kenworth – Kansas City was named Kenworth Medium Duty Dealer of the Year. The dealer retailed nearly 500 medium-duty trucks, strong medium-duty market share, sold to a highly diverse customer base, and achieved 100% PremierCare Gold Certified.

Kenworth Parts and Service Dealer of the Year: CIT Trucks captured the Kenworth Parts and Service Dealer of the Year award. The dealer was a Kenworth PremierCare Gold leader. CIT Trucks performed at the top of every major parts category. This included growth in PACCAR Parts retail sales, parts purchases and fleet parts sales in addition to volume growth in fleet sales, engine parts and eCommerce. The dealer also placed highly in extended service hours, PACCAR MX certified engine technicians, service bay velocity and dealer excellence service.

Kenworth TRP All-Makes Dealer of the Year: Palmer Group received the Kenworth TRP All-Makes Dealer of the Year honour. The dealer group improved TRP purchase volume, increased overall parts purchases and retail sales, and continued to support Kenworth’s largest customers by growing the PACCAR Parts Fleet Services business. The dealer group operates three successful TRP stores.

Kenworth Dealer Major Anniversaries: Kenworth also celebrated major Kenworth dealer anniversary milestones reached in 2022: 65 years – Inland Kenworth (Burnaby, British Columbia); 40 years – Edmonton Kenworth (Edmonton, Alberta); and 35 years – Motor Power Kenworth (Billings, Montana).

Kenworth Industry Impact Award: Don Blake of Inland Kenworth – Phoenix was presented with the “Kenworth Industry Impact Award.” The award annually honours an outstanding leader in the Kenworth dealer network, or a PACCAR employee who serves dealers, and has made a significant impact in the broader trucking industry.


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