Toromont celebrates 25 years as a Caterpillar dealer

toromont cat

Toromont Industries is marking 25 years since it entered the heavy equipment market.

Toromont Cat was created in October of 1993, following the acquisition of Caterpillar dealership Crothers, which had operated in Ontario since the 1940s.

“It’s been a very exciting ride,” said Glenn Keenan, vice president of marketing for Toromont Cat. “If you look at the size of the dealership that Toromont bought to where we are now, it’s not quite tenfold, but its considerable.”

Keenan has been with the company for 31 years, which included the transition from Crothers to Toromont Cat.

“It’s been a transition from private family owned to a publicly traded company. The growth has been considerable to say the least,” he said. “The neat thing for us is when Toromont came on, they brought financial strength and business acumen and a business philosophy. That’s allowed us to do what we do.”

Toromont Cat continued its growth in 1996 with the acquisition of Newfoundland Tractor, followed by Powell in 2001, which serves the Manitoba and Nunavut markets.

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Toromont also acquired Battlefield Equipment Rentals in 1996. Since its acquisition, Battlefield has grown from one location to 82 stores.

“With the acquisitions we’ve done, we’ve done a great job of retaining as much talent as possible including the senior leaders,” Keenan said. “One of the key things we do is implement our business philosophy. It’s been good for us, our customers and our suppliers and partners like Caterpillar.”

Toromont Cat’s latest acquisition was the purchase of the Quebec-based Caterpillar dealer Hewitt Equipment for more than $1 billion. The acquisition, announced in August of 2017, is the largest of its kind between Caterpillar dealers in the manufacturer’s history. Now, Toromont operates 120 Cat dealerships throughout Nunavut, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador.

“We effectively doubled the number of employees with the acquisition,” Keenan said.  “We’re very excited with the progress we’ve made and the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Alongside the Caterpillar dealership, the company also operates CIMCO, which is a designer, engineer, fabricator and installer of industrial and recreational refrigeration systems.

Toromont Industries dates back to 1961 when eight private investors came together to form the company. The company registered on the Toronto Stock Exchange seven years later.

“Toromont Industries, the parent company, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year as a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange,” Keenan said. “It’s an interesting year.”