Paccar Inc is the third largest manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks in the world (after Daimler AG and Volvo), and has substantial manufacture in light and medium vehicles through its various subsidiaries.
Based in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, Washington, it was founded in 1905 by William Pigott, Sr., as the Seattle Car Manufacturing Company. Its original business was the production of railway and logging equipment. Upon a subsequent merger with a Portland, Oregon firm, Twohy Brothers, Seattle Car Manufacturing Company became the Pacific Car and Foundry Company.
During the Second World War, it was involved in war production, including Sherman tanks for the U.S. Army.
Pacific Car and Foundry purchased Seattle's Kenworth Motor Truck Company in 1945 and both Peterbilt Motors Company and the Dart Truck Company 13 years later. In 1972 the corporate name was officially changed to Paccar Inc, with the Pacific Car and Foundry Company name becoming a subsidiary division.
In 1981, Paccar acquired Foden Trucks, a British manufacturer. Fifteen years later, in 1996, Netherlands-based DAF Trucks, at the time in financial difficulties, was acquired. Also, in 1998 Paccar acquired UK-based Leyland Trucks for its light and medium truck (6 to 44 tonnes) design and manufacture capability.
With its Peterbilt, Kenworth and DAF nameplates, Paccar ranks second in production numbers in the United States and third in production numbers globally in "big rig" truck production. The leading unit producer in the United States is Freightliner, a unit of Daimler AG. Other major competitors in the heavy-truck business include Navistar International, and AB Volvo.