Very few individuals would be so bold as to buy a supplier to a dying industry. Gregory James Aziz, however, is one of those bold people. A successful businessman and investor, Gregory J. Aziz has been known to take companies that are either failing or that are local and expanding them into international superpowers in their industries. In 1994, Aziz had just purchased National Steel Car, and he was about to turn this local manufacturer of rolling stock on the brink of bankruptcy into one of the last remaining successful rolling stock titans in the industry.
National Steel Car had a reputation in Ontario for producing low-cost railcars that would withstand the test of time. Founded in 1912, it seemed like no matter how many depressions and acquisitions this company was put through, it would always prevail. However, in the last 1970s when the logistics game started to lean towards trucking instead of railroads, NSC saw its sales start to fall. New owners were brought in, but they only seemed to be interested in the assets at National Steel Car and did little to take care of the customer relationships and the equipment. NSC soon fell by the wayside, and newer, better-engineered railcars became the new standard.
When he purchased the company in 1994, Greg Aziz knew that he would have his work cut out for him. Not only were railroads a semi-failing industry, but National Steel Car had no strategic plan and the management team had no direction. Aziz made it clear when he took over the company that the new plan would be to focus on engineering and design to make sure NSC’s cars were the best out there. He wanted the customers to know that they would not have to purchase new cars every year because of new safety regulations or because the cars would be worn out.
Aziz also made sure that more capital was invested in the company. He purchased new machines and equipment, increasing the production capacity of the plant from just 3,000 cars per year to over 12,000. He also hired thousands of additional workers to take on the extra demand the company was seeing from its marketing campaigns. See This Page for additional information.
Now National Steel Car is one of the only providers of rolling stock to the major railroads left in business. It is bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars each year in sales, and its capacity has never been higher. For more than a decade NSC has been recognized by the TTX Supplier Evaluation Committee for supplier excellence. Thanks to his business acumen and innovative strategies to get companies back on their feet, James Aziz has ensured the future for National Steel Car.