On November the 1st in 1953, with the
establishment of 'Metaalindustrie en Constructiewerkplaats P.
van der Leegte', the foundation was laid for what is now VDL
Groep (Van Der Leegte Groep). The company in Eindhoven was
founded by Pieter van der Leegte senior, father of the current
president/director and owner Wim van der Leegte. The first
clients were Philips, the former employer of Pieter van der
Leegte, and DAF Trucks. The work tasks of the first five
employees consisted of turning, milling and drilling as well
as punching, welding and soldering in series production.
building in Eindhoven.
the early 1960s, Pieter van der Leegte began developing his
own products: washing machines and oil heaters. In 1962, upon
receiving a large order for Honda chain guards, the decision
was made to move to Hapert. The order, however, turned out not
to be as large as expected. Subsequently, new finished
products were brought to market: stainless steel household
articles such as bed warmers, egg cups, butter dishes,
van der Leegte senior.
From father to
For various reasons, Pieter van der Leegte had
a burnout in the summer of 1966. Pieter’s oldest son, Wim van
der Leegte, just 19 years old and studying at the technical
college at the time, became involved in the company as a
student on work placement.* Within three months he was running
the company. In 1972 Wim assumed ownership of all his father's
hall in Hapert.
to being a supplier
Because the production of
stainless steel household articles in the Netherlands became
increasingly difficult, in 1976 the company once again began
concentrating on serving as a supplier. In 1977 an open
management model with a non-hierarchical structure was
introduced. The company ran so well with these new
organizational changes that Wim van der Leegte sought a new
challenge: assuming control of poorly operating companies.
Consequently, in 1979, a first takeover served as the first
step towards dynamic growth. The name of the parent company
was changed to VD Leegte Metaal.
Vermeulen, Wim van der Leegte, Wim Maathuis & Lau
of VDL Groep
In 1984 the group consisted of five
companies. A general management was formed, as well as a board
of commissioners with Pieter van der Leegte as chairman.
Sadly, the founder of VDL Groep passed away on 22 January
1991. In 1993, VDL Groep made its entry into the bus and coach
world with the takeover of DAF Bus International. And with the
takeover of production automation company Steelweld the
finished products division was significantly expanded. In 1966
the group consisted of 20 companies, with 2,000 employees, and
attained a turnover of 200 million euros. In the same year,
the headquarters was opened in Eindhoven. The group continues
to grow and two large takeovers follow in the bus and coach
sector. In 1998 the Berkhof Jonckheere Groep was taken over as
was BOVA in 2003. In November of that year there was a grand
celebration of the VDL Groep's 50th anniversary. In 2006,
Philips Enabling Technologies Group was taken over; this was
the largest takeover in the VDL Groep’s history. The circle is
complete: Pieter van der Leegte senior once began his career
as a toolmaker at the company when it was still called Philips
Machinefabrieken. In 2012, VDL Groep wins the prestigious King
Willem I Prize in the category of 'Large enterprise'. With the
acquisition of NedCar at the end of 2012 VDL is the only major
automaker in the Netherlands. As an independent car
manufacturer VDL Nedcar assembles cars for third
Prof. dr. K.H.W. Knot, his royal highness Prince of Orange
Willem-Alexander & Wim van der Leegte.
for the future
Today VDL Groep is a trend-setter
in the supplies sector, the only large automaker and bus
manufacturer in the Netherlands and a producer of a whole
range of finished products. The common thread found throughout
is the combination of metal and technology. The enterprise
began in 1953 with five employees and a modest turnover and
grew to become a conglomerate of 82 operating companies, with
more than 8,800 employees, and a turnover of 1,756 million
euros in 2012. But even today, VDL Groep is a regular family
company, in which the new generation - Wim van der Leegte's
three children - prepare for the future.
to see the Corporate movie of the VDL Groep