Willem van der Leegte, president of VDL Groep, represents the third generation in the Van der Leegte family. His grandfather Pieter founded a metalworking company in 1953 and started developing and producing oil heaters in the 1960s. ‘My granddad wanted to make beautiful things. My father Wim steered the company into a stable position, expanded it and also wanted to earn money from it. What kind of Van der Leegte am I? That is up to others to determine. The ideal would be a combination of my granddad and my father (laughs).’ However it may be, the youngest scion (35) has a huge job running a multinational with an estimated turnover of five billion. Besides the three MINI models, VDL Nedcar in Born has recently also started producing the popular BMW X1 series. The other activities are also growing and developing successfully. ‘This doesn’t happen by itself. We have to define all aspects of our business operations properly.’
Read the full interview with Willem van der Leegte.