Proud to be part of the VDL Groep!
Miel Timmers

Proud to be part of the VDL Groep!

17 augustus 2022

VDL builds on un-Dutch industrial empire without losing the family feeling.

The RepTrak Company examines the reputation of companies in more than 60 countries. In the Netherlands, four companies from the Brainport region are in the top six. In this series, we examine how this is possible and where the key to a good reputation lies. In this episode: VDL Groep.

At the end of April, VDL launched an online platform ( where customers can order metal products on-demand. In the metal and plastics sector, VDL is one of the first companies to offer this service. It is typical of the Eindhoven-based family business that is constantly stretching its own boundaries and reinventing itself. Among other things, the company builds (electric) buses, passenger cars, Dopper drinking bottles, roof boxes. They also make parts for DAF trucks, develop and produce automated production lines for car factories and enter the electronics market. The common thread? Metal and plastic. But, then increasingly sophisticated applications. For instance, VDL is one of the largest suppliers of complete modules and parts for ASML's chip machines.

The work of the five employees who worked for Pieter van de Leegte sr. in 1953 consisted of turning, milling, drilling and stamping, welding and soldering. Today, the Van Der Leegte Groep ((VDL Groep), is building an industrial empire the likes of which the Netherlands has not seen for years and is one of the largest employers in the Netherlands. This is now done under the leadership of Pieter's grandchildren: Pieter, Jennifer and Willem. In between, their father Wim waved the sceptre for 50 years.

Flat organisation

If you ask Miel Timmers, head of communications and public affairs, VDL is a real family business. "Our shareholders sit on the board, which ensures a lot of speed in decision-making, for example. VDL is flatly organised: there are few layers between shareholders and colleagues on the shop floor."

In 2018, VDL was in the top 30 of the RepTrak ranking for the first time; the company has since risen to sixth place in the 2022 list. How that's possible? Timmers: "I think it's about the intrinsic motivation of the family business. It is especially important to sustainably pass on the family business to the next generation by offering long-term continuity. For that, you want to do good for the environment and the business climate: for the communities our employees are part of and others in those regions. That resonates throughout our operations."

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