Penske Truck Leasing Company History Timeline


Headquartered in Reading, Pennsylvania, the company was founded by Team Penske owner Roger Penske on December 1, 1969.

Since 1969, Penske Truck Leasing has grown from a three-location rental and lease business to a multibillion-dollar transportation services company spanning the globe.


In 1973 Penske acquired the ailing Michigan International Speedway, determined to convert the racetrack into a lean and profitable business.


Detroit Diesel's North American market share had declined from 33 percent in 1979 to three percent, and it had lost a total of $600 million in the previous five years.


The Hertz unit had lost $40 million in 1981, and the company considered unloading it altogether.


By 1986, there were 102 locations generating $200 million in revenue.


Penske was approached in late 1987 by GM’s investment banking firm, Salomon Brothers, with the possibility of a deal.


DeLorenzo, Matt, “Roger Penske: Multi-Talented Entrepreneur Just Keeps on Growing,” Automotive News, January 18, 1988.


Penske initially owned 69% of the partnership and GE purchased another 3% in January 1989.


Under Kmart, the operation had lost $19 million on sales of $360 million in 1994.


The Penske group's 1995 acquisition of more than 850 Kmart Auto Centers added service to its roster and made it the nation's largest independent tire dealer.


In 1996, the spin-off earned $10.9 million on revenues of $55.2 million.

Roger Penske took his Pennsylvania, California, and Michigan racetracks, as well as the corporation's two Competition Tire businesses, public as Penske Motorsports, Inc. in 1996.

In Mexico, Penske Truck Leasing began its operations in 1996, providing maintenance services for a single client.


Roger Penske became UAG's CEO in the spring of 1998 and within a year the company achieved a 245 percent increase in profits.

The company dramatically increased its presence in the European market with the 1998 purchase of Transportgroep van der Graaf, a Netherlands-based transportation and warehouse provider.


Roger Penske Jr., CEO of the new division, expected to double the business by 1999.

In the spring of 1999, however, Penske Motorsports was sold to International Speedway for $610 million.


Richard E. Dauch, chairman and CEO of American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM), echoed the expressions of many Penske acquaintances in a January 2000 Automotive News article: "He is one of the five most brilliant people I've ever met … but he's also a competitive cuss.

A few years later, having accomplished a change in fortune for Detroit Diesel, the Penske Corporation sold its percentage to a major competitor of original owner GM. In 2000, DaimlerChrysler, which at that time owned about 21 percent of Detroit Diesel, purchased the remaining shares.


In 2001 Penske invested additional millions into UAG, increasing Penske Corporation's ownership of UAG to 57.9 percent.


UAG began expanding globally in 2002, with dealerships in the United Kingdom, Germany, Puerto Rico, and Brazil.


Gallagher, John, "Chairman of the Bowl," Detroit Free Press, January 12, 2006.

As of 2006, Penske Racing had teams competing in the IndyCar Series as well as the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, the NASCAR Busch Series, and the American Le Mans Series.

By 2006 Penske Truck Leasing employed more than 20,000 people and operated approximately 200,000 vehicles, with revenues approaching $4 billion.


In the 2009 IndyCar Series, Will Power drove four races for Team Penske with Penske Truck Leasing sponsorship.


Recognizing potential opportunities in 2014, Penske Truck Leasing expanded its truck rental and leasing services in Australia through collaboration with Brisbane, Australia-based Penske Commercial Vehicles, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group.


In 2015, Penske Logistics acquired Transfreight North America.

Simon Pagenaud carried Penske Truck Leasing sponsorship for eight races in the 2015 IndyCar Series.


Similarly, in 2016, Penske Automotive Group increased its investment in Penske Truck Leasing by acquiring an additional 14.4% interest from GE Capital.


In September 2017, General Electric sold the last of its stake in Penske for $674 million.

In 2017, Penske Truck Leasing continued to grow and expand its truck rental, leasing and logistics operations both organically and with the acquisition of Richmond, Virginia-based Old Dominion Truck Leasing.


In late 2018, Penske Truck Leasing became the first company ever in North America to put an electric commercial vehicle into its fleet by introducing the Freightliner eM2 medium-duty commercial electric vehicle.

In 2018, notable efforts for Penske Logistics included the addition of onboard cameras in its trucking fleet, expanding the capabilities of its ClearChain® technology suite.

A notable acquisition in 2018 supporting logistics and supply chain capabilities included the addition of Epes Transport System.

Penske Logistics had 2018 revenues of $2.3 billion and is ranked among the top 20 for-hire trucking companies by industry publication Transport Topics.


In 2019, Penske Logistics made history for being one of the first truck fleets to ever use commercial heavy-duty electric semi-trucks for over-the-road store deliveries as well as testing electric terminal yard tractors.

In 2019, Penske Logistics also celebrated the grand opening of its new 606,000-square-foot build-to-suit standard freezer/cooler distribution center in Romulus, Michigan.

In 2019, Penske Truck Leasing marked its 50 th anniversary in business.

To better represent the breadth of its capabilities and to position the organization for the future development and the potential acquisition of new product and service offerings, the company introduced a new umbrella brand name in 2019: Penske Transportation Solutions


Finally, in late 2020, Penske Logistics made a significant investment in the future of its dedicated contract carriage business by completing its acquisition of Black Horse Carriers.


"Penske Corporation ." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved April 15, 2021 from

Throughout 2021, Penske Truck Leasing continued to grow its business, fleet and services footprint through organic customer growth and strong vehicle demand, and it added new and improved facilities in key markets across North America.

Penske Logistics catapulted in 2021 to become the second largest provider of dedicated contract carriage services in North America according to industry analysts.

In late 2021, Penske Logistics also began taking a new direction for its European logistics business by forming a joint venture with Bremen, Germany-based Röhlig Logistics.

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Penske Truck Leasing is 54 years old.

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Roger Penske founded Penske Truck Leasing.

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Penske Truck Leasing may also be known as or be related to Penske Truck Leasing, Penske Truck Leasing Co LP, Penske Truck Leasing Co. LP and Penske Truck Leasing Co., L.P.