The History of DAF Trucks

The History of DAF Trucks

An Introduction to the Company

DAF Trucks is a company based in Belgium, which was founded in the year 1993. It is a subsidiary of PACCAR since 1996 and manufactures a wide range of trucks suitable for a variety of applications and purposes.

The headquarters and main production facility is located in Eindhoven while axle assemblies and cabs are manufactured at a plant in Westerlo. Some models are even designed and produced by the British automotive company, Leyland Trucks.

Although DAF Trucks caters to an international audience, their sales are more significant in the European market. The company has a long history in the automotive industry even though the brand itself was established not long ago.

It has still managed to create a strong reputation for itself and is well established in the European markets. The Dutch truck manufacturer has been competing against some of the largest brands in the world but has been able to capture a sustainable market share.

Competing against the market leaders can be difficult for a new brand especially in this industry. However, DAF Trucks has done exceptionally well in creating a name for itself that is synonymous with reliability and trust.

How It All Began?

Hubert Van Doorne initially established the company in 1928 with Heunges, as the co-founder and investor. Van Doorne started from a small workshop with the help of his brother and slowly the company started taking shape.

Van Doorne’s Trailer Factory was the name chosen for the company in 1932 and was later abbreviated to DAF Trucks. In 1936, Van Doorne and his brother took complete charge over the business and started moving steadily forward.

There was very limited production of luxury cars as well as trucks during the Second World War and this presented a huge opportunity for DAF Trucks to capitalize on. For this reason, the brother started manufacturing trucks, trailers and even buses in 1949 and changed the name of the company to Van Doorne’s Automobile Factory.

The first ever truck model introduced by the company was known as the DAF A30, which became a huge success. Over the years, Hubert Van Doorne worked on bringing in innovative engineering and design elements to his trucks in order to gain an edge in the market. He was in fact, quite successful at doing so with the belt-driven vehicle technology.

As the market evolved, so did the company and in 1975, the passenger car division was sold off to Volvo Cars. A merger with Leyland Trucks took place in 1987 leading to further expansion and growth in the European market. The bus division was separated in the year 1990 and became known as United Bus leaving DAF with only its profitable truck line-up.

Because of financial problems faced by the company in 1993, DAF Trucks, including the daf truck parts department, went bankrupt and was then revived as an all-new company based in Netherlands as the result of a management buy-out. In 1996, the business was acquired by PACCAR. It was reunited with Leyland in 1998 when PACCAR acquired that division too.