DAF Trucks is one of the leading truck manufacturers in the world. The company is now merged with the England based Leyland Motors and is traded as Leyland DAF.
DAF is a Dutch company, which manufactures trucks, buses and trailers. The company is headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands. They are a division of PACCAR and their main plant is also situated in Netherlands. Axle assemblies and Crew Cabs are also produced in another plant of the company located in Westerlo, Belgium.
The company was founded by Hubert “Hub” van Doome in 1928 and his co-founder cum investor was Huenges. The name of the company was changed to Van Doorne’s Aanhangwagen Fabriek in 1932, which later got abbreviated as DAF. In 1936, Heunges left the company and the reins of the company was passed to the hands of the Van Doome Brothers.
During the time of the Second World War, a big opportunity came to DAF, as there was a scarcity of luxury trucks. The company began the business of manufacturing trucks, buses and trailers in 1949 and saw its name changed to Van Doome’s Automobile Factory. DAF A30 was the first truck model launched by them.
DAF Trucks introduced their first truck model, which was the A30 in 1949. This model of DAF truck was upgraded in the later years. DAF Trucks introduced the 2000DO in an attempt to capture the prevailing international market, but it proved to be a failure. They introduced their next truck model, 2600, which was a success and was a record seller in most markets. DAF Trucks has also produced a torpedo front tractor.
DAF Trucks got their first title of being the International truck of the Year after the introduction of their successful ‘95 series’. This truck series from DAF had ample space inside with a powerful 16 ATI advanced turbo 12 liter engine and a high roof space cab variants.
In 1975, DAF decided to concentrate on the business of trucks, as they sold off their passenger car division to the Swedish Company, Volvo Cars. In one of the most important business ventures, DAF merged with the division of Leyland Trucks, which belonged to the Rover Group, in 1987. It was during this time when the company floated as DAF NV on the Dutch Stock Exchange. After its merge, the new company traded with the name of Leyland DAF in UK, while it used DAF elsewhere.
DAF Trucks introduced the Darkar Rally in 1980, which they won in 1982, 85 and 87. Following the success in the rally, the company introduced a twin engine truck that had a combined power output of more than 1000 hp. DAF Trucks also started entering in to the competition of the European Truck Series in 1996, which was not very successful, but they became the champion in 1999.
DAF Trucks have continued their stranglehold in the European Markets and are going to launch new and more advanced models in the coming future.