Did you know that the first parking meter in Europe was located in Schaarbeek? Alphonse Rauwers had something to do with it. The first generation of Rauwers began converting military vehicles into comfortable cars in 1919. Soon, Alfons Rauwers took the step of distributing tachographs for trucks and vans, and he permanently relocated the company from Sint-Joost to Navezstraat in Schaarbeek, where the family also resides.
An impressive history
In addition to tachographs, which record the driving times of trucks, Rauwers quickly focused on the parking business and introduced the very first parking meters in Schaarbeek. The increasing number of cars made a well-thought-out parking policy essential in urban areas. Today, based on that experience, they are an important partner in the field of mobility policy. The success of Rauwers is based on their keen sense of innovation. They discover new possibilities and apply that technology to the local market. They have also developed equipment such as beacons, sirens, and safety vehicle equipment for police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks.
The choice for Brussels: a deliberate choice
Nelson and Boris leave no doubt - fluent in Dutch and French - that the choice for Brussels is deliberate. "We come from Schaarbeek, this is our home," they emphasize. They also highlight the role of Brussels in the world. For the Rauwers family, Brussels is not just a city, but a brand that is of great importance to both partners and customers. Moreover, Rauwers sees Brussels as "neutral territory" since it belongs neither to Flanders nor Wallonia and is perfectly positioned to receive international visits. But there is also an emotional value attached to this city: "our location in Schaarbeek has something that an industrial estate on the outskirts cannot offer: a soul."
A pool of expertise
Rauwers currently has approximately 80 dedicated employees. The workforce evolves with changing needs, transitioning from traditional technical personnel to more IT professionals. While tachography was originally closely associated with the watchmaking industry, it is now a digital discipline within the IT industry. Rauwers acknowledges this and invests significantly in internal training for its staff, as well as collaborating with schools for dual learning.
Despite recognized challenges, Rauwers is determined to continue expanding and is proud of several success stories. The deep-rooted loyalty of the staff reflects the family business culture, as emphasized by Pablo Rauwers. To tackle the challenges and transitions as a family business, Rauwers is a member of the Family Business Network (https://www.fbn-i.org) and seeks guidance. Additionally, the company is a member of Agoria, the umbrella organization of the technology sector. Quentin van den Hove concludes that Rauwers is a technology- and knowledge-focused company that plays a role in the transition to mobility in urban areas. Just one day after our visit, Rauwers proudly announced that they have received a boost loan through finance & invest.brussels
(https://www.finance.brussels), enabling them to further strengthen and grow their position as a key player in innovation in urban mobility and safety.