Gregory Aziz: Making National Steel Car Great Again
London, Ontario native Gregory James Aziz is National Steel Car’s chairman, president and CEO. Founded in 1912, National Steel Car is a worldwide leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of high quality railroad freight cars. Greg Aziz purchased the company in 1994 after spending over 20 years with Affiliated Foods, a wholesale food business owned by his family. After graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in economics in 1971, Aziz helped to make Affiliated Foods a top fresh food distributor in Eastern Canada and the United States.
Once Gregory J. Aziz helped Affiliated Foods to establish a lucrative fresh food pipeline from Central America, South America and Europe, his family’s company began to prosper. He then developed an interest in National Steel Car. In the 1980s and 90s, Aziz focused his attention on finding financing to purchase the company from Dofasco. His goal was to turn the once great Canadian company back into a top railroad freight car manufacturer. After acquiring National Steel Car in 1994, Greg Aziz used his excellent leadership skills to leverage the company’s prodigious engineering capabilities and revive production.
Aziz began to expand National Steel Car’s manufacturing capability. Between 1994 and 1999, he hired 2,400 workers. That enabled the company to increase production of freight cars from 3,500 to 12,000 annually. What set National Steel Car apart was the expertise of the staff and the company’s innovation, commitment to quality engineering and manufacturing excellence. Beginning in 1996, National Steel Car won the TTX SECO award for the highest quality railroad freight car 18 years in a row. It is the only freight car manufacturing company in North America certified ISO 9001:2008. That’s the highest rating for railroad freight car manufacturing.
The Hamilton, Ontario based freight car maker’s products far exceed railroad industry standards. This has led to a dramatic increase in sales. Gregory J Aziz and National Steel Car are now very prosperous. Aziz gives generously to the Hamilton community. He gives a great deal of money to the Hamilton Opera, Theatre Aquarius, the Salvation Army, the United Way. The company also helps local food bands by hosting huge food drives. Together with Irene his wife, Aziz sponsors the most prominent agricultural fair in Canada, the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Through it all, Gregory James Aziz and National Steel Car continue their relentless commitment to hard work, excellence and quality.