DAF Museum: Blending the old with new

Published: Wednesday, December 18, 2019

This Netherlands-based trucking museum offers a glimpse into the evolution of one of Europe’s oldest truck makers. Secondary students also get insights on trucking mobility, sustainability and safety through the interactive education program ‘Trucknasium.’ It also hosts parties, receptions, meetings, gatherings or company festivities with that unique blend of the old and new atmosphere.

Time passes by so quickly and many of the things that we’re accustomed to in our day-to-day lives have evolved into something else more efficient and better, especially when mixed with technology.

This is very much apparent in the transport industry where new car or truck models are introduced every year with better features and sophisticated elements than their predecessors.

Thankfully there are specialized museums like the Netherlands’ DAF Museum which offers a collection of vintage trucks made by DAF.

DAF traces its roots from humble beginnings when on April 1, 1928, Hub van Doorne set up a small construction workshop in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The company eventually evolved into a leading global truck manufacturer focused on innovation, quality and transport efficiency.

The ‘new’ museum

Last November, Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, a member of the Dutch royal family, which has always had special ties to DAF, officially opened the newly-renovated DAF Museum in the presence of nearly 160 museum- volunteers.

The professor arrived in a unique DAF Pony, one of only 15 ever produced by the company. One of which was owned by the Dutch royal family.

With record 60,000 visitors per year, the DAF Museum is one of the most popular museums in the Eindhoven region and the most popular museum in the city, according to research by TripAdvisor. Not happy to rest on its laurels, the DAF Museum is set to become an even more exciting attraction — the museum has just undergone 18 months of major renovation and modernization work and is aiming to increase its visitor numbers to 80,000 per year.

The “new” museum has a completely new entrance area, a renovated restaurant, a new gift shop with fresh and modern. But the biggest change only becomes obvious once you enter the exhibition space — a completely new wing providing no less than 1,100 m2 of space has been added.

“This fantastic expansion has given us even more space to better showroom the highlights of DAF’s rich history,” says Marc Van Doorne, President of the Friends of the DAF Museum Foundation and the grandson of DAF founder Hub Van Doorne.

“It also means that we now have the ability to trace DAF’s history right through to the present day, allowing us to highlight the importance of modern transport as well as showcase the latest developments in the industry, for example in engine technology. ‘Van Doorne’s Aanhangwagen Fabriek’, later known as the ‘Van Doorne’s Automobiel Fabriek’, has always been renowned for its innovative solutions. These solutions have resulted in an impressive series of trailers, cars and trucks, which are all on display in the DAF Museum.”

Grateful for the volunteers

Van Doorne says credited the museum volunteers, many of whom former DAF employees for making the project possible.

“I am sure that my grandfather Hub and his brother Wim Van Doorne would be incredibly proud if they could see what we have achieved with the new DAF Museum,” said Van Doorne. “We are particularly grateful to our more than 160 volunteers—who are, for the most part, enthusiastic former DAF employees—without whom we would not have been able to carry out this renovation and who make sure that everything in the museum is spot on and ready to receive our visitors every single day.”

Still growing at over 90

PACCAR Inc., an American Fortune 500 company which counts DAF Trucks as one of its subsidiaries, reported a net income of $607.9 million ($1.75 per diluted share) in the third quarter of 2019, 11% higher than the net income of $545.3 million ($1.55 per diluted share) earned in the same period last year. Third quarter net sales and financial services revenues were $6.37 billion, 11% higher than the $5.76 billion reported in the third quarter of 2018.

Preston Feight, CEO of PACCAR, said he’s very proud of their employees’ hard work “who have delivered industry- leading trucks, powertrains and transportation solutions to our customers.”

“PACCAR achieved a strong 14.9% Truck, Parts and Other gross margin in the third quarter and year-to-date, benefiting from good pricing, production efficiency and rigorous cost controls. We anticipate that 2020 will be another good year with a normal replacement truck market and strong demand for PACCAR’s premium products,” he added.

Global Truck Markets

PACCAR said Class 8 truck industry retail sales for the U.S. and Canada are expected to be in a range of 310,000- 320,000 vehicles in 2019, the second highest market in history.

“Class 8 truck industry retail sales in 2020 for the U.S. and Canada are estimated to be in a range of 230,000-260,000 vehicles, a solid replacement vehicle market. Good U.S. economic growth, 50-year-low unemployment and strong consumer spending are generating freight tonnage growth of 4.2% this year,” said Gary Moore, PACCAR executive vice president.

And DAF trucks are among those in high demand for its quality and reliability.

“Customers recognize DAF’s product quality leadership, industry-leading fuel efficiency, low operating costs and excellent resale value,” said Harry Wolters, DAF president.“Customers recognize DAF’s product quality leadership, industry-leading fuel efficiency, low operating costs and excellent resale value,” said Harry Wolters, DAF president.

“DAF’s above 16-tonne market share was a strong 16.4% through the first three quarters of this year. It is estimated that European truck industry registrations in the above 16-tonne segment will be in the range of 310,000-320,000 units this year, one of the best markets in history. The 2020 truck market is expected to be in the range of 260,000- 290,000 trucks,” he added.

The South American above 16-tonne truck market is projected to be in a range of 95,000-105,000 vehicles this year, and in a range of 100,000-110,000 trucks in 2020.

“Customer demand for DAF and Kenworth trucks has resulted in a 79% increase in deliveries in South America this year,” said Marco Davila, PACCAR vice president. The Brazilian portion of the above 16-tonne truck market is projected to be in the range of  65,000-75,000 vehicles in 2019, and a range of 70,000-80,000 trucks in 2020.

PACCAR estimates it will invest $625-$675 million in capital projects and $320-$350 million in research and development expenses in 2020.