Gregory James Aziz is a brilliant investor, philanthropist and visionary. He is the proud owner of National Steel Car Ltd. the largest manufacturer of railcars in North America. The company is so productively efficient it received the TTX SECO award for best steel car manufacturer thirteen consecutive times. The success story of National Steel car came from Gregory James Aziz’s determination and commitment to maintaining the values and skills of the local community and labor force.
Greg received his Master’s in Economics from the University of Western Ontario and quickly became an avid investor and businessman. He joined his family business, Affiliate Foods, which he helped grow into an internationally recognized company. Greg James Aziz’s interest however was in the manufacturing industry. He saw the advancement of new technology destroying the livelihoods of his neighbors and local community. The use of airfreight and shipping destroyed the railcar industry until James Aziz purchased National Steel Car from Dofasco in 1994.
Morison and Basil Magor founded national Steel Car in 1912. The manufacturing industry was doing quiet well at the time and the use of rail cars was the only profitable and efficient means of shipping goods across the country. The company managed to survive the First World War and the Great Depression by cutting costs and reducing its staff. After the Second World War the use of aircraft and ships were slowly destroying the need for rail cars, but National Steel remained strong and committed to its workforce and ideals.
In 1994, National Steel Car was producing no more than 3,500 railcars a year and employed only 600 individuals. After Greg Aziz took the helm the company began increasing its output to over 12,000 railcars per annum and employed more than 3000 individuals. The increased production and increased efficiency of rail cars made using them cheaper and more profitable for companies in Canada and the United States. The rail cars were becoming a cost effective alternative to airfreight and shipping. The increased dependence on fossil fuels and petroleum products also helped the rail car industry as more companies shipped oil and petroleum products back and forth across America.
Thanks to Greg, National Steel Car Ltd. is the leading manufacturer of railcars in Canada and the United States today. He and his wife Irene are considered local heroes and frequently sponsor and take part in the Royal Agricultural Fair. Greg is determined to keep the values, practices and traditions alive in Canada and makes sure the Canadian Royal family are guests of honor at the Royal Fair every year.