In 1983 Walter Verfaillie bought Sidem and put his shoulder to the wheel. His daughter Gwen leads the company as CEO, inspired by the spirit of her father and with true entrepreneurship. The result of this shared passion ensured that the business grew into an international expert in the automotive industry, without losing its family character and unstoppable drive. Gwen tells us all about it.


How important is the family’s story in the history of Sidem?

Gwen Verfaillie: “When my father bought Sidem in 1983, he gave the company a new orientation. The production was relocated from Lichtervelde to Roeselare, in Belgium, before adding a production plant in Central Europe. I was always inspired by his passion and entrepreneurship. So, the automotive business was not new to me: it runs in the family. I started at Sidem straight after graduation. When my father passed away, I followed in his footsteps in 2010. ”


Why does Sidem specialize in steering and suspension parts for private and light commercial vehicles?

“We are confident that a clear focus is the best way to provide premium steering products with the best value for our customers. It makes us experts in our field for the aftermarket. With a coverage of 95 percent in steering and suspension parts, we are amongst the highest in the aftermarket. We have 9,000 products and 4 million parts are deliverable from stock: our catalogue is the ‘bible’ within the industry.”

Quality, reliability and stability are the most important reasons to work with Sidem. That is why customers choose us as their trusted partner for the long term.

Sidem is proud of its premium quality. What does that enhance?

“Sidem is a specialist and passionate about steering and suspension parts. We only go for premium quality: with original equipment (OE) as the standard. Sidem is a ‘Tier 2’ supplier for the assembly of new cars and IATF 16949 certified . And that’s not all, premium quality also involves reliability for our customers. Sidem has an average service level of 98 percent, here again the highest score within the industry.


How did the company manage to grow into a global specialist with made-in-Europe products?

“Our global success is undoubtably the result of our long-time partnerships with distributors in local markets all over the world. For our customers, it is important to be able to rely on a stable, specialised manufacturer and not just on generalists: in that respect we offer one-stop shopping. We are engineers and manufacturers with an European production. Quality, reliability and stability are the most important reasons to work with Sidem. That is why customers choose Sidem as their trusted partner for the long term.”


What does Sidem’s future hold?

“It is very clear, Sidem will continue to focus on customer satisfaction, premium quality products within steering and suspension parts, with the highest coverage and service level. Even within ‘new’ segments as battery electrical vehicles, Sidem has already the highest product offer within the aftermarket.

Furthermore, we will continue to grow by having strong partnerships with distributors, and enlarge our international footprint. We will keep on going the extra mile and have close relationships with our distributors as our most precious partners. This is our promise and our proud.”


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