Sector: LPG

Vialle turns 50!

Sjef Vialle, founder of his namesake company, was born in 1936 and from a young age displayed interest in all things on wheels. Read on to find out how he progressed from repairing bicycles to designing and producing autogas systems.
Vialle's historic headquarters© VialleVialle has moved several times, but has always operated in or around Eindhoven, the Netherlands

A grown-up Sjef Vialle, having fixed countless bicycles and later mopeds, motorcycles and cars, became a professional driver – in the summer he drove coaches and taxis in the winter. However, he never gave up on running his own repair shop and kept on working on cars whenever time allowed. Over time he launched his own company and took interest in alternative fuels, investigating ways of replacing petrol and diesel, with the latter gaining popularity in mid-1960s. Remember the first oil crisis did not strike until 1973, so people like Sjef Vialle, seeking substitutes in times they were not a necessity, were truly ahead of their time.

In 1967 Mr. Vialle went to Italy, where he met Renzo Landi, whose name we're sure rings a bell with you. Vialle became an importer and installer of Italian autogas systems, which helped him develop his own business and made it possible to gradually move towards independence. A breakthrough came in 1978, when Renzo Landi died – that's when Sjef Vialle cut his ties with Italians and started developing autogas systems under his own brand. This is how Vialle Autogas Equipment B.V. came to be.

The founding father remained with the company until 1983, when he left the business to concentrate on luxury campers instead. Despite various ups and downs, Vialle still exists today and so late 2017 marks not just the 50th anniversary of its inception, but also 50 years of its uninterrupted operation. After Sjef Vialle left, his former company changed hands several times, with Volvo one of its owners at a certain point in time. Vialle has been reorganised, its management structure has changed, it has been relocated to new premises several times to better suit the changing needs and market environments. The logo has evolved and so has the name – the original Vialle Autogas Equipment B.V. became Vialle Alternative Fuel Systems B.V. and as of 2015 r. the company's full official name is Vialle Autogas Systems B.V. One thing hasn't changed, though – a policy of seeking new ways and aiming for perfection in terms of functionality and quality.

Sadly, Sjef Vialle did not live to see his "child's" 50th birthday – he passed away at the age of 81 on April 20, 2017.


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Robert Markowski
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