Van Hool to lay off 1,100

A Belgian news site is reporting that Van Hool is to lay off 830 staff, and that the Flemish cabinet will be discussing the future of Van Hool, as the company struggles to find a new investor.

The bus and coach builder, which has manufacturing in Macedonia as well as Belgium, was severely affected by the pandemic, and order books have been slow to recover. According to VRT News, the Belgian government has already supported the company with loan guarantees.

The appointment of troubleshooter Marc Zwaaneveld as co-CEO alongside Filip Van Hool a month ago is hoped to restore confidence but Van Hool is to lose 830 employees this year, with a further 300 to follow, and there is speculation that it could close coach building at the Koningshooikt plant near Antwerp, which employs more than 600 people.

Earlier this year, Belgian operator De Lijn placed a €43m order for 92 electric buses with BYD, which it is said Van Hool had hoped to win with its products.

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