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Range Rider has seen growth during its 36-year history

Second generation to take over Summerland manufacturing business
FATHER TO SON Al Klar, who founded Range Rider in 1983, is passing control of the company to his son Andrew Klar. (JOHN ARENDT/SUMMERLAND REVIEW)

Since its inception in 1983, the story of Range Rider has been one of growth.

Founder Al Klar has created and built the manufacturing company to a prominent business, with products sold across Canada and the United States.

Now, Al Klar is preparing to step down from his role at the business and his son Andrew Klar prepares to take over the company.

Al Klar came to Canada from India and settled in Penticton.

He soon got a job at a truck canopy manufacturing company.

In 1983, during a recession, he was one of three partners to start a canopy manufacturing business.

All three partners worked hands-on at the business during the early years, spending many hours to develop the reputation.

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One of his partners later sold his interest in the business and another died, leaving Al Klar as the sole owner.

Today, Range Rider’s truck canopies and covers are on many vehicles in Canada and the United States.

The family business has more than 100 dealers in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Some of the canopies have been sold to more distant locations as well.

He said the secret of his success is ongoing dedication.

“It’s all about hard work. It’s all about commitment,” he said.

And while some of the years in business have been difficult, Al Klar looks back on the past 36 years with satisfaction and fond memories.

The Klar family raised four children — three daughters and one son — in Summerland.

The youngest daughter was one of the first students at the Glenfir School in Summerland.

The son was part of the last class to graduate from the private school.

While Al Klar will step back from his role at the business, he expects to remain involved.

However, he also hopes to have some time for himself and time to visit family in India.

Andrew Klar is looking forward to taking over the business, although there is no official date when he will formally take over operations.

“I was geared toward a role in the business from the beginning,” Andrew Klar said. “There was no other career I was looking at.”

How will the story progress from here?

“It’s definitely going to be a change,” Andrew Klar said. “There’s already been a change in direction.”

The change affects how the business is managed and its directions for future growth.

But the company will remain in Summerland, where its story began and where it continues to this day.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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