The D'Ieteren venture started in the 19th century when it was founded by master coachbuilder Joseph-Jean D'Ieteren. The company started to manufacture car bodies at the beginning of the 20th century, with production being exported. Later, it moved into the assembly and importing of cars and trucks.

In 1948 a deal was struck by Peter D'Ieteren whereby the company would assemble Volkswagens under license. Work began on a factory on the south side of Brussels in October of that year and by 1949 cars were emerging from it. There was also an agreement to assemble Studebakers, but most of the volume over the next couple of decades came from the Volkswagen business. The factory was sold to Volkswagen in 1970 and is today known formally as "Audi Brussels".

D'Ieteren's car rental business commenced in 1956.[citation needed]

The company imports and distributes other makes of the Volkswagen group: AudiSEATSkodaBentley, and Lamborghini, as well as Yamaha products.

D'Ieteren acquired Belron in 1999. Belron performs vehicle glass repair and replacement. The company operates in Europe and Brazil under the brand names Carglass and Autoglass (Ireland, United Kingdom, Poland), in North America (Canada, United States) as Safelite and Speedy Glass, in Australia under the brand name O'Brien and in New Zealand under the brand name Smith & Smith.

They acquired Moleskine in 2016.

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