DAF, the commercial vehicle company that specializes in medium to heavy-duty trucks has a long story. It all began in 1928 in the Netherlands but DAF got its name from the Doorne brothers who named the company, Van Doorne Aanhangwagen Fabriek (DAF) or Van Doorne’s Trailer Factory.
DAF also produced cars but eventually concentrated in making trucks in its main headquarters in Einhoven in the Netherlands.
In 2005 DAF set up its first assembly plant n Asia in cooperation with the Formosa Plastics Group of Taiwan. FPG, the largest business conglomerate in Taiwan diversified into truck manufacturing and distribution carrying DAF and Iveco lines.
We learned more about DAF in a trip to Taiwan together with other motoring journalists. As soon as we arrived, we proceeded to a showroom of DAF in a suburb outside Taipeh.
Here we saw some of the DAF trucks on display by Formosa Group. Our initial reaction was those trucks looked nice and tough but what caught our attention was the spacious sleeping section on the driver’s rear. Benedict Go who heads the DAF distributor in the Philippines through his company Pioneer Trucks said DAF considers all details in their production including the welfare of the driver who needs to take a rest after a long drive. The design reminded me of the trucks I saw in Australia and the United States.
From the showroom, we walked to a nearby hotel for lunch.
Then we proceeded to the Formosa Group Museum also in the city.
Here we saw how the company started as a plastics manufacturer which diversified into food production, electronics, hotels, hospitals and into vehicle manufacturing.
In the evening we had a mini tour of Taipeh after dinner highlighted by our visit to Taipeh 101, the 8th tallest structure in the world at 508 meters above sea level.
On the next day, we went to another city- Dadu, two hours from Taipeh. Here we visited DAF’s assembly plant which is capable of producing four trucks a day and supplies the commercial vehicle needs of all of Taiwan, a country of more than 21 million people.
From sales of 75 units in 2006, DAF Taiwan sold 860 units in 2017 and is still the top heavy-duty truck leader in Taiwan.
We toured the DAF production stations , a total of 10- from parts to chassis, windshields, engines and cabs and painting and complete vehicle product. They also showed us a big part of the plant’s roofs that are installed with solar panels which supplies a good amount of electricity to the plant. DAF also manufactures its own lithium battery which has a life span of four to six times that of ordinary battery.
The trucks are also equipped with Alcoa wheels’ tough but light wheels from Germany which also contribute to the vehicles’ fuel efficiency.
DAF trucks according to our hosts have increased driving power, incredible fuel savings and great bodybuilder friendliness. It all adds up to market-leading transport efficiency. Whether your transport needs are long haul, distribution or construction. Whether you want a rigid or a tractor unit with two, three or four axles. DAF offers the best solution tailored to every need.
This is what Pioneer Trucks in the Philippines wants their customers to experience when they choose a DAF. Go said the first DAF showroom will be located at the Pioneer Trucks compound in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.
We also visited a big bus company in Taiwan that uses Alcoa wheels and this will be subject to another column.