Before it became a subsidiary of automobile giant PACCAR in 1996, DAF Trucks was a separate company based out of Belgium and founded in 1993. PACCAR was famously known in that era to produce a variety of trucks which were intended for a vast range of purposes and applications.
DAF Trucks primary production facility was based in Eindhoven. The cabs and axles were assembled in a manufacturing plant located in Westerlo. Later on, some models of the DAF Trucks were designed by the famous British automotive giant, Leyland Trucks.
DAF trucks were primarily intended to be sold to an international market. However, company and sales evaluations showed that the DAF Trucks were producing a greater profit in the European markets.
Although the brand of DAF Trucks has not been around for long, the company itself had a very long and vast history of producing automobiles. The company managed to create a very strong reputation and became very well established in both the European and international markets.
On an international scale, this Dutch truck company was competing against some of the largest and established brands in the world and yet managed to sustain a sizable market share. Competing on an international scale for a new company can be a very difficult task, however, DAF managed to pull it off exceptionally while establishing a brand synonymous with trust, quality and reliability.
How DAF Trucks Came Into Existence
DAF Trucks was initially established in 1928 by Hubert Van Doorne with Heunges as the investor and co-founder of the company. Van Doorne worked out of a very small workshop with his brother until the company slowly started becoming established.
The company was initially called Can Doorne’s trailer Factory; however, the company name was later abbreviated to DAF Trucks. In 1936, Van Doorne, along with his brother, took complete control over the company and started to establish the company further.
During the Second World War, there were a very number of luxury trucks and cars. This presented as a big opportunity for the company and Van Doorne capitalized on this fact. The company started producing a variety of trucks, buses and trailers during 1949. During this time period, the company name was also changed to Van Doorne’s Automobile Factory.
The first truck ever produced by the company was called DAF A30. This truck was a big success. Over several years, Van Doorne started designing and producing innovating trucks that captured the market. His trucks were made even more popular due to the belt-driven technology.
In 1975, the company sold off its car division to the huge automobile giant, Volvo Cars. 1987, a merger took place with Leyland Trucks which lead to further growth and expansion for the company in the hefty European market. In 1990, the company separated from its bus division. The bus division is now known as United Bus. This separation meant that DAF was only left with its trucks division.
In 1993, the company faced several financial hardships which ultimately lead to the company going bankrupt. The company was later revived through a buy-out in 1996 by PACCAR. In 1998, the company was handed back to Leyland as PACCAR had bought Leyland as well. Thus, Leyland DAF trucks were born.