Finn Lamex and Van Hool – a long-term bus cooperation
- Customer case
Belgian bus and industry vehicle manufacturer Van Hool is apioneer in its field and also demands top quality from its windscreens. That is why the company has relied on Finn Lamex as a partner since 1999.
Van Hool NV manufactures coaches, public transport buses and industrial vehicles as one of the best in its field in Europe. Founded in 1947, the Belgian family business has its roots and headquarters in Koningshooikt, Antwerp province, but its vehicles move widely around the world.
Today, this group of more than 2500 employees builds around 1000 buses and coaches, and around 3000 industrial vehicles, per year – 80% of which are exported to Europe and North America, among other countries.
Van Hool’s ability to create new, customer-oriented solutions has made it a respected pioneer in its field. For example, it produced the first low-floor city buses, had a strong influence on the breakthrough of the hydrogen bus and implemented the first battery-electric double-decker coach.
“FROM THE BEGINNING, [FINN LAMEX] DELIVERED AT A HIGH QUALITY LEVEL, AND IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN LIKE THAT.”
OVER 20 YEARS OF CLOSE PARTNERSHIP
Finn Lamex started working with Van Hool in 1999. Managing Director Tero Toivanen recalls that Finn Lamex’s very first windshield delivery went to the Belgian partner.
“Today we are Van Hool’s main windshield supplier. We also deliver replacement windscreens for them and are actively involved in the development of new vehicle models. Together we keep in close contact and work together to find the final windshield model that ends up in production.”
Van Hool has a long tradition as a high-end bus manufacturer that has always sought new vehicle solutions. Thus, Finn Lamex has naturally also faced some extraordinary wishes.
“In development projects, our cooperation starts with the visions developed in their prototype department. We then bring in the expertise and suggestions of the windshield side while reviewing the technical feasibility and manufacturability of those visions. We also support their design work by sharing information on new possibilities for windshield materials and other technical developments,” says Toivanen.
POSITIVE FEEDBACK FROM THE BELGIAN DIRECTION
Toivanen greatly appreciates the long-term cooperation with Van Hool and is happy to continue it further. According to a customer survey commissioned by Finn Lamex, the satisfaction is mutual, as Van Hool considers its partner to be one of the top suppliers in the industry and the number one choice for themselves.
“We decided, as Van Hool, to support Finn Lamex in creating their own company,” says Raf Janssens, Purchaser for Van Hool NV.
“I think Van Hool was maybe their very first customer. From the beginning, they delivered at a high quality level, and it has always been like that.”
In the feedback, the company praised, for example, Finn Lamex’s expertise, quality of service and competitive pricing. They also appreciate the close cooperation during the product development phase, where even the most challenging windscreen shape requirements have always been met with high quality.
“Finn Lamex has a lot of experience, and they can solve a lot of problems based on that experience. They are one of the top windscreen producers in the market. When somebody asks me if I can give a good reference in the windscreen manufacturing business, we say that Finn Lamex is at the top level,” Janssens concludes.