Van Hool

Van Hool NV is a Belgian coachbuilder and manufacturer of buses, coaches, trolleybuses, and trailers. The company was founded in 1947 by Bernard Van Hool in Koningshooikt, nearby Lier, Belgium. In the early years, the company introduced serial production and exported their products all over Europe. The latest market is in the United States with AC Transit (Alameda County, California) in 2002. On February 15, 1957 Van Hool signed a commercial agreement with Fiat. Van Hool would incorporate Fiat engines and other mechanical components (gearboxes, axles, steering) in its vehicles. It developed from a coachbuilder to a Belgian manufacturer of integral buses and coaches, known as Van Hool-Fiat. Alongside these activities the company continued as a renowned coachbuilder, enabling further expansion. The Van Hool-Fiat co-operation immediately was a great success: already in August 1958 the 100th Van Hool-Fiat was delivered, and by July 1961 the figure had exceeded 500. The cooperation agreement with Fiat was terminated in 1981. Most of the buses and coaches are built totally by Van Hool, with engines and axles sourced from Caterpillar, Cummins and MAN and gearboxes from ZF or Voith, and some of their production consists of building bus and coach bodies on bus chassis from manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and Scania. Worldwide Van Hool employs 4,500 people and manufactures over 1,700 buses and coaches (bodyworks and complete vehicles combined) and 5,000 trailers each year. It sells an average of 600 coaches annually in the US. In the US, Van Hool has four separate product lines for sale: the T21-series deluxe touring coaches, the C20-series touring coaches, the TD925 double-decker bus, and the A-series transit coaches. Its exclusive dealer in the US is ABC Companies.