VDL Berkhof

VDL Berkhof was a Netherlands based bus and coach builder, founded in 1970 by Arthur Berkhof and his son Henk. It started with only 10 employees in a 1,000 m² factory. During the first 18 months the company only carried out bus repairs.

VDL Berkhof
SuccessorVDL Bus & Coach
FounderArthur Berkhof
Henk Berkhof
The Netherlands
ParentVDL Groep
A Blue Line Coaches, Belgium Berkhof Axial 70 in September 2002
Berkhof Excellence 1000 coach with Volvo chassis in Lviv, Ukraine

In 1985, the operation moves to a brand new 10,000 m² facility in Valkenswaard. The number of employees was now 132. The factory expanded in 1989 by an additional 10,000 m² resulting in a production capacity of 350 units a year following the acquisition of Hainje.[1]

In 1994 Belgium bus and coach manufacturer Jonckheere with a total sales of 400 units per year and 500 employees, was acquired. The total staff number of employees of the Berkhof Groep now reached 1,200.

In 1997, the company changed its name from Berkhof Groep to Berkhof Jonckheere Groep. In 1998 it was bought by the VDL Groep and in 2010 was subsumed by VDL Bus & Coach.

The company has also built low-floor articulated trolleybuses for Arnhem in the Netherlands,[2] and Solingen in Germany.[3]

Former productsEdit

  • Berkhof Eclipse
  • Berkhof Ambassador
  • Berkhof Excellence and Axial (launched in 1987 as the Excellence series with limited sales, second generation 1988–1995, third generation Excellence/first generation Axial 1992–2003, (In 1996, the model was renamed from Excellence to Axial series, with numerical designations changed), second generation Axial 2002–2010, which then continued as the VDL Axial until 2014
  • Berkhof Radial


  1. ^ In Brief Commercial Motor 16 February 1989
  2. ^ Murray, Alan (2000). World Trolleybus Encyclopaedia, p. 109. Yateley, Hampshire, UK: Trolleybooks. ISBN 0-904235-18-1.
  3. ^ Trolleybus Magazine No. 252 (Nov.-Dec. 2003), p. 132. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Berkhof vehicles at Wikimedia Commons