In 1912 in a small Hungarian village a company was born. At the time the main method of transport was the horse drawn carriage. This demand combined with the opportunities given by the Local National Stud has inspired the senior members of the Jámbor family to set up a wheelwright company and to produce commercial and ceremonial carriages.
Short after the foundation the First World War started. This stressing event has set the company back but could not make it disappear. After the war the quality of the carriages needed has declined but until the wide appearance of motor cars this trade had a bright existence.
The XXth century was full of changes and unsecure times. The unjust Trianon, the great recession not destroyed the family and the company but made them stronger.
Short after the beginning of the Second World War Jámbor István junior, engine of the company, was recruited and set to the front line in Russia. During his absence the company was only ticking, doing the odd jobs but the uphill tendency of growth has turned around rapidly and definitely.
After the war, a new war has started. Hungary was thrown to Russia by the western powers. The physical terror was exchanged for mental terror by the communism. Private industry was destroyed, everything was centralized. This was the case for Lehel too. As the need for horse drawn vehicles have declined, the company started to produce general industrial products, such as furniture, building constructions and constructional services. The once private company was now under the control of the government and the communist party, like everything else in Hungary.
1989 has brought the changes. Jámbor Vilmos, son of István, was a horse enthusiast and carriage driving fanatic. It was his desire to resurrect the traditions of Lehel. In 1989 the first carriage has rolled out of the workshop and Lehel has returned to its roots. The first carriage was followed by the next and the next and soon Lehel was back in top form producing competition and ceremonial vehicles. The customer list included top sports people and the household of the British Royal Family.
During an event in Windsor in 1996 Jámbor Vilmos has met Mark Lee an English carriage driver. The conversation ended by friendship and partnership. Lehel Coachbuilder as known today was born.
The principles of the company were to put the owners to the horse boxes. In order to achieve that the quality had to be the first and better then ever before. The inspiration came from the boat industry to create Lehel Virage Luxury range. Revolutionary at the time with an all aluminium construction, the first ever continuous window system, solid wood interior, multiple slide outs high polished stainless steel interiors and many many more. Lehel all of a sudden became trend maker. The fancy paint designs, the continuous windows are often copied by well established high profile companies. Lehel has inspired many today well know designs,the biggest names of the industry. Just think of the large window strips and multiple pop outs that are all inventions of Lehel.
Through Lehel’s traces and expertises new companies were founded in Belgium, Neatherland, Germany, United Kingdom and actually in Hungary. It is a pride that Lehel inspired investors, trained enough workers and provided enough knowledge to make Kisber region the horsebox capital of the world - only the best is followed and copied.
In 2009, the recession has not helped Lehel either. Short after the company was reformed, new partners were taken. The sales philosophy was changed but this however has not affected the well known Lehel quality.
The profile of the company was widened. The partnership with Zengő Motorsport, top WTCC racing team, has opened the road to the motor racing world. Since then Lehel is well involved in many different motor racing disciplines on the highest level.Similar cooperation was set with Hommer design team. The fruit of that marriage is the first ever 3.5T slide out 6 berth motorhome on the world.
The cooperation with Horses Trucks Import in France has created a new Lehel Brand HTI which is great success in the French region.
Also commercial trucks, trailers and very special vehicles are currently on the menu of Lehel, making it the most versatile coachbuilding company of the world.
Lehel is also involved in top Equestrian sport,runs its own team in carriage driving, show jumping and dressage with a high result as world championship medal in carriage driving.
2013 took a new stakeholder in life of Lehel. The cooperation between Lehel and his partners as Alexanders, Hommer, HTI, Kogi, Scanxpo, Zengő was reinforced and led to a very bright season This momentum could be saved and continued at the present and hopefully also in the future. This secures the brand and the quality expected from the world No.1 coachbuilder. The new Lehel Team: Noémi, Tamás, Vilmos, Alex, Jacques, Gianpaolo, Peter are ready to move Lehel to another level and continue to show the ways in the industry.
Beauty, Function, Freedom. Lehel.