In 1881, Henri Jonckheere began to build horse-drawn carriages in the town of Beveren, near Roeselare in the province of West-Flanders, Belgium. 1902 saw Jonckheere build his first "luxury automobile". In those days many, largely wooden bodies with their typical styling, were built upon several famous chassis such as Minerva and Rolls-Royce.
1922 saw Henri's son and successor Joseph Jonckheere built his first bus body. Car bodies were still a large part of the production until the early 1930s when Jonckheere moved all of the production to bus and coach building, making Jonckheere the Belgian market leader. Jonckheere was also becoming a famous and well-known name throughout Europe.
After the second world war, there was a huge need for vehicles for road transport, which included of course a lot of buses and coaches. Jonckheere was able to meet quickly all new market trends. The product range also included luxury touring coaches, city and intercity buses, articulated buses but also heavy duty buses for worldwide export and several special bodies. In the 1970s, Jonckheere launched the Bermuda range that started to appear in the UK in 1977 and stayed in production until 1982.
Jonckheere celebrated its first century in 1981 with a touring coach with the appropriate name of Jubilee. The range included a low floor P35 model, regular P50/P599 model, P799 with underfloor cockpit, P90 semi-decker with rear lounge and P99 double decker. In 1989, Jonckheere launched the Deauville range and in 1994 came the Monaco double deck model.
1996 saw the arrival of the Mistral touring coach model (in two heights Mistral 50 and 70). The Mistral remained in production until 2007 when it was replaced by the SH series.
In 1994 Jonckheere became a part of the Berkhof Group which was subsequently acquired by VDL Groep four years later. The official name of Jonckheere was then changed to VDL Jonckheere.
A new high-specification coach was launched in Europe. The SH-series was initially available on the rear-engined Volvo B12B chassis. The demonstration model was built to a height of 3.8m. The body was also built on the Volvo B12M, and is now offered on the Volvo B9R. Longer 14m versions have been added to the range on the Volvo B12BT and B13R chassies.
- Arrow 30, 50, 70
- Mistral 30, 50, 70
Other VDL Groep coach companies: