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Derks Bedrijfswagens celebrates a spectacular silver anniversary

It is a party today in Udense, because it is Derks Autogroep’s birthday! Owner Jack Derks kept the wind down – even in difficult economic times – and so the now 25-year-old company is flourishing like never before. However, the start was a bit difficult …

At the age of twenty-three, young Jack Derks wanted to start a car company, but finding a suitable business space in 1991 was pretty difficult. “According to the municipality, I had to be patient, because they had plans for a common business property for which I would be eligible,” explains Jack when asked. “But at the time, I was more and more interested in talking and talking about it with my parents, who, to my delight, provided me with their own garage. They made a great sacrifice with it, because it was somewhat illegal. At one point everything was full of cars: the garden, the sidewalk and the driveway … Fortunately, they were enterprising people who understood my ambitions. And I am glad that I did not listen to the congregation, because that promised building never came. “

Early bird

Derks Bedrijfswagens soon became a household name in the region and moved to a “real” building. The car company, which specializes in commercial vehicles of all shapes and sizes, has experienced steady growth with owner and director Jack Derks over the years and recently took over The Hearse & Limo Company, with Marc van Ravensteijn at the helm. The two men can read and write with each other both privately and privately, and of course Marc also shared the party today. Jack himself did not really think about the 25-year anniversary, but his twenty-strong team – and family – all the more. “I always start around a quarter to seven in the morning, but this morning I was a bit later because my wife stopped me,” Jack laughs. “Once arrived at the gate, it was closed, but still closed. I thought that was strange, but still no light went on. Only when I entered the company, all the lights flickered on and everyone there was clapping and laughing, did the penny drop. What a nice surprise! ”

Jack is the fuel in the engine

The staff offered Jack a rich breakfast with fresh croissants, orange juice and cake. And there was a very special gift waiting for Jack – and the company. “My brother Ruud, who is the manager here, gave a speech in which he said that I am the fuel in the Derks engine here. I thought that was a nice imagery and when the gift was presented, I thought it was very appropriate: a beautiful, antique gas pump! We are currently renovating our company and that pump, together with the antique bus painted in company colors, will be given a prominent place in the showroom. ”

Sons with an interest in the company

As a secret to his success, Jack mentions that he knows where his strength is, and especially where it is not! “Matters in which I am not good – and there are quite a few – I delegate to people who are good at it,” he says firmly. “That’s why I have always gathered the right people around me and am now very proud of my well-oiled team. I see it as my task to delegate and motivate, and to monitor occasionally. The latter is disappearing more and more into the background, because everyone here knows his or her duties. ”Both Jack’s sons, Teun and Bart, were also present at the party. Jack: “They are both at the IVA Driebergen Business School and are also in rooms, so I thought it was great that they could be here despite a busy exam week. They are increasingly interested in our company, ask the right questions and think along. I have always released them in their choices, but secretly I think it would be incredibly nice if they ever find their place in this company. ”

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