UK Van Hool buyers face anxious wait

Scores of Van Hool coaches ordered by British buyers are now stuck in limbo at Van Hool in Belgium and North Macedonia, following the crash of the company.

It is believed that as many as 70 T series vehicles were ordered after Euro Bus Expo in 2022, and some are still in build at Koningshooikt and at the Skopje, North Macedonia factory. In many cases, significant deposits of over £40,000 have been paid. Buyers now have to wait for the administrator to decide which of two competing bids for the Van Hool coachbuilding operation to accept before work can be completed. The workforce in Belgium will all be laid off initially, although we believe that work is continuing in Skopje.

Among competing bids for the Van Hool coachbuilding business are VDL Groep – which has just invested in a new factory in Belgium – and Guido Dumarey, who bought out parts of the Woodall Nicholson group which had included Treka, Mellor and Sigma bus builders. On a Belgian radio programme, Dumarey had said that Van Hool had been ‘too kind’ to customers, offering costly bespoke coaches at a cost, he claimed.

Update 11th April

Guido Dumarey and Van Hool’s dealer in the USA, ABC Companies, have made a new joint bid with Dumarey Group looking for 60% of the company. It is also rumoured that Marc Van Hool’s CIM Capital has bid for the trailer business in Belgium.

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