The Belgian company D'Ieteren is older than the State of Belgium. The
company is currently known as Belgium importer of VAG group cars and
they were formerly known for their coachbuilding activities and
assembly of Studebaker cars and Volkswagens.
Jean Joseph D?Ieteren founded his small workshop close to the center of
Brussels in 1805, when Belgium was still part of France. He specialized
himself in the production of chariot wheels, but soon started to
manufacture complete chariots. Jean Joseph died in 1831, but his two
sons Adolphe and Alexandre took over. The youngest, Alexandre, moved to
Paris for some time to specialize himself in drawing and reworking
woodwork of carriages. In 1857 he established a new and larger workshop
the "Nieuwstraat" (Newstreet) in Brussels. The next D'Ieteren
generation, Alexandre's sons, Alfred en Emile moved the company to the
"Steenweg" (Rock road) in Charleroi.
Alfred en Emile changed the name in "D?Ieteren Frères" and in 1884 they
became official suppliers to the Dutch Royal Household. Four years
later, after being awarded many times for their creations, they
delivered their first chariot to the Belgian Royal Court. In 1897 they
built their first body for a motorcar. The company grew bigger and in
1906 they opened new shops in the "Maliestraat nr. 50" in Elsene.
Alfred's sons, Lucien en Albert, took over and from now on they
focussed solely on manufacturing automobile coachworks. Chassis from
over a hundred 100 brands, of which Impéria, Minerva, Panhard, Renault,
Peugeot, Delahaye, Mercedes and Hispano Suiza, were bodied by
D?Ieteren. They built about 6000 coachworks in total.
After WW I, the brothers parted. After the economic crash from 1929,
Lucien left the trade of building luxury coachworks and became a sales
representative for American car brands and trucks like Studebaker,
Pierce-Arrow, Auburn and Rockne. To avoid heavy import taxes, Lucien's
company started to assembly the chassis and coachworks for the Belgian
After WW II, Pierre D?Ieteren managed to obtain the sales rights for VW
and so they became the official Belgian distributer of that German
manufacturer from 1948 untill this day. D'Ieteren bought a piece of
land in 'Vorst' for the assembly of the Studebakers and soon this was
followed by the assembly of Volkswagens. Since 1950, Pierre D?Ieteren
also became the importer of Porsche.
The Volkswagen factory in Vorst was sold to Volkswagen in 1970. Pierre
D'Ieteren died in road accident in 1975 and his son Roland took over
management of the now very large D'Ieteren empire.
The enterprise later obtained the exclusive import rights for Belgium
for brands like Audi (1974), Seat (1984), Skoda (1992), Rolls-Royce and
Bentley (2000) and Lamborghini (2001). D?Ieteren Sport did the import
for Yamaha (1975) and MBK (1982).
Since WWII D'Ieteren was no longer involved with the coachbuilding
trade, but today Roland D'Ieteren has a share in the newly established
'Touring Superleggera', which is also under management of the Dutch