Placed on 04/06/2014
It has been some time since my last communication in E-News and there is much positive news to report in relation to developments and events at the VB Group.
Unfortunately there is however some very saddening news as I have to announce the unexpected death in his prime of our business partner and director of VB-Airsuspension RUS OOO in Russia, Stanislav Bardetsky, at the end of last year. R.I.P. Stani, you were a friend and example to us all in your enthusiasm, dedication and passion for all you undertook. We will remember you as the man who believed the semi air suspension system was worth his last penny and who, within eight short years, built up a highly successful business from scratch. You will always remain in our thoughts as the original ‘self-made man’.
I am happy to report that our other news is all of a positive nature. For example, the foundation of VB-Airsuspension North America Corp., where the first successes in the ambulance and motorhome market have already been chalked up. Or the launch of VB-Airsuspension India Pvt. Ltd. and our very successful showing at the trade fair in New Delhi. VB is starting to make a name for itself in India, with the first deliveries in the pipeline and an enthusiastic response from customers to the first tests.
Booth Auto Expo - Components 2014, New Delhi India
The company has also experienced strong growth once again. The VB Group now has 75 employees and we are looking to recruit yet further new employees.
Following the success of our celebrations to mark the 20th Anniversary, we organised the ‘Dutch Dakar Experience’ in April of this year as a joint event with Veth Automotive. This spectacular event held at Eiland van Maurik had a particular appeal for a specific group of customers, with something Dakar-related going on in every corner of the EvM19 events park. Clients had the opportunity to test out a whole range of VB-Airsuspension products in vehicles on an off-road course as well as an on-road route through the delightful Betuwe countryside. The opportunity to co-drive one of several Dakar trucks fitted with an air suspension system from VB-Airsuspension was the icing on the cake for many.
Well-known Dakar drivers including Jan Lammers, Wuf van Ginkel and Martin van den Brink were there, ensuring an unforgettable experience for guests.
During this year's Dakar our suspension systems were again exposed to the elements by various teams in the toughest rally in the world. Just as in past years our products demonstrated their quality and reliability, and withstood everything the rally threw at them without problem!
Preparations for the next Dakar season are already underway. Through continuous development of our products we will ensure they prove their worth again next year! Our involvement in the Dakar rally has resulted in the creation of a whole new product range: a complete pick-up and off-road programme with VB-FullAir and VB-SemiAir products for the seven biggest makes in this segment.
We have not only improved our current products, we have also substantially extended the range of VB-FullAir products on offer. The first prototypes for the new V363 (Ford Transit) and X82 (Renault Trafic/Opel Vivaro) are already on the road and further vehicles models are due to be added.
It has been all hands to the deck since the beginning of the year with the implementation of a new ERP, MRP and CRM system, which will help to ensure the growth of the company stays on track. We had outgrown the old system and it was time to move to something bigger. Following year-long in-depth preparations we identified a suitable successor in Microsoft Dynamics AX. Currently, all our efforts are going into analysing, designing and testing the system, which already looks set to deliver on its potential. Quality takes time and so we are hoping to go ‘live’ at the end of this year. The new system means VB-Airsuspension will soon be in a position to drive forward even further growth!
In light of the above, we are delighted to report that the VB Group is continuing on its successful path, a fact of which the entire VB team is very proud. We will continue to expand our product range for you and to improve our products, ensuring our promise of ‘making everyday smoother’ continues to hold true into the future!