The company was formed in 1987 when the Dutch DAF Trucks company merged with the Leyland Trucks division of the British Rover Group (which included the van making business of Freight Rover). The new company was jointly owned by DAF Beheer BV (60%) and Rover Group (40%). Later the company was floated on the Dutch stock exchange. The company traded as Leyland DAF in the UK, and as DAF elsewhere.
The company manufactured trucks at its plants in Eindhoven, Netherlands and Leyland, UK and vans at its Birmingham, UK plant.
Following the insolvency of DAF NV in 1993, three new companies emerged as management buyouts: LDV Limited as a van manufacturer based in Birmingham, UK, Leyland Trucks as a truck manufacturer based in Leyland, UK and DAF Trucks as a truck manufacturer based in Eindhoven, Netherlands.