How acquisitions can help expand production capacity

By Matt Jones   

Business Operations Production Automotive Manufacturing automotive Canada Economy manufacturing Operations production trucks

Truck manufacturer Gincor Werx acquires Wiltsie Truck Bodies.

Christian Stang, VP pf Business Development, Ginger Werx.

Custom work truck manufacturer Gincor Werx have announced the acquisition of Wiltsie Truck Bodies. Representatives for Gincor say that the acquisition will largely help expand their production capacity. Vice President of Business Development Christian Stang describes it as a ‘bolt on or tuck in’ acquisition.

“They do a lot of the products that we currently do at some of our other facilities,” says Stang. “So it opens up some production capacity for products we currently build elsewhere. And it helps take away some of the bulges in the order book – we’re always trying to keep things somewhat steady and we’re always trying to develop a good client experience.”

Aylmer, Ontario-based Wiltsie Truck Bodies have been producing custom truck body designs for over 60 years. Their truck body offerings cover everything from service trucks to grain bodies and cube vans. The company also offers repairs, painting, wheelbase changes and lift-axle calibrations, in addition to distribution for brands such as Grote, Whiting and Tommy Gate.

“We try to keep good relationships with many of our competitors,” says Stang on how the purchase came together. “We’re often doing what we call ‘co-opetition’ – we compete on some things but we cooperate on others. Anybody that’s followed our company’s history know that we’re aggressive with growth, we were on the Profit 500 Fastest Growing Companies for five or six years in a row. We’ve always got some feelers out there as to when people are ready to sell. I think the seeds were planted years ago and it came to fruition last year and it probably took us about a year to put this together and get all the terms and get the right agreement put in place.”


Stang notes that while Wiltsie will eventually be rebranded as Gincor, for their customers business will likely continue largely as usual. For Wiltsie’s employees, there may be more changes but those changes could also run both ways.

“For us, it’s a matter of putting in our best practices and trying to keep some of their best practices,” explains Stang. “What this acquisition means to Gincor is to be able to better support our current existing client base in southwestern Ontario. Bringing our best practices into that business, and then we start looking at their processes and procedures. Is there something that we can learn? We believe that we can always learn something from somebody.”

The acquisition of Wiltsie is the fifth significant acquisition Gincor have made since 2015. Stang notes that Gincor have learned much regarding how to approach these acquisitions since that time.

“You can’t have five different accounting systems,” says Stang. “So as we do more of these its ‘okay, how do we tailor our list of key things we’re going to do when we purchase a business.’ What are their accounting systems? What are their processes? What can we keep, what needs to change. We try to make it as seamless as possible. We’re trying to deliver a better experience for everybody. And that includes the employees, because they truly are the lifeblood of our business.”

Stang notes that he is sometimes asked if Gincor are purchasing an asset with the goal of shutting it down but he doesn’t believe in that approach. If it doesn’t add value to the company, why are they even thinking about buying it? Stang says that his family’s business (the business was started in the 1970’s by Stang’s father’s uncle and two partners) want to build something for the future and to make a difference and to enrich the lives they touch. That ethos also drives Gincor to ensure as seamless a transition as possible for employees.

“[Changing ownership] can definitely cause a lot of strain,” says Stang. “’What does that mean for me? Are they going to do this or that?’ We’re always trying to enhance the client experience and when I say clients, I look at my employees as clients as well. It sounds strange to think of employees as a client, but when you’re looking at a client, from a business standpoint, you’re trying to make them happy so they’ll come back. You also have to do right by your employees so they’ll want to come to work.”

As an example, Stang cites how for one of the company’s previous acquisitions, they invested in enhancing the company’s lunchroom. Acknowledging that some might consider such an investment “hoopla,” Stang says the company is committed to making things better for the people working for them. He cites a quote by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson – ‘Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.’

“From an accounting standpoint, to justify an investment into a lunchroom, there’s no easy way of measuring what the results of that are,” says Stang. “What’s your return on investment on that? I think that’s where people get caught up. But we’re trying to make it easier from clients. What do we gain? We’re going to better service our clients. And the employees have had a good run with a good family business – Wiltsie has been around for almost 70 years. You don’t stay in business that long if you’re not doing things right. So we’re just looking to improve on what was already good. They’ve got a good name in the industry and they’ve got a good following. So how do we add to that?”

Gincor Werx President and CEO Luc Stang noted in a news release that Gincor are pleased to have the opportunity to build on the foundation that the Wiltsie family built over the years.

“This foundation, and its client base, have been built by men and women who have a passion for the industry where it all happens,” said Luc Stang. “It’s all about the people and that’s what makes this latest acquisition a great fit for all stakeholders. We look forward to bringing Gincor Werx to the former Wiltsie Truck Body team to help enrich the lives of each other and those we serve and partner with. Welcome to the family.”

Representatives for Wiltsie Truck Bodies did not respond to a request for an interview as of press time. 


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