Ruud Koppens, founder of ETF Ride Systems, retires

By | July 10, 2024

NEDERWEERT — Ruud Koppens, the founder of ETF Ride Systems, has announced his retirement effective July 1st. Ruud, who established ETF Ride Systems as a division of the ETF Group 26 years ago, has been a member of the ETF Group for nearly 51 years.

Retiring at the age of 67, Ruud Koppens made the decision to step down while in good health, hoping to spend more time with his wife, three children, and five grandchildren. Over the years, ETF Ride Systems has thrived under his leadership, becoming a prominent name in the industry.

Ruud is confident that he is leaving the company in capable hands. A well-established team will continue to lead the company, which has been acquired by a private family group deeply involved in the amusement industry. The new owners intend to maintain ETF Ride Systems as an independent company, keeping the same team and premises.

Ruud has been the driving force behind ETF Ride Systems’ success, particularly with the trackless dark-ride vehicles, of which over 750 units have been built to date. The company is renowned for its high technical reliability, with an impressive uptime of 99.5%, and low maintenance costs. In addition to amusement parks, ETF Ride Systems also serves various museums worldwide.

New ride vehicle
True to his innovative spirit, Ruud leaves the company and the market with a new product. Over the past few months, he led the development of a new high-end vehicle for the trackless range. The new vehicle, named “Dynamic Mover,” boasts higher speed, greater acceleration and deceleration, omni-directional driving capabilities, increased passenger cabin rotations, and the ability to navigate inclines. Notably, it no longer relies on the renowned ETF floor wire. The “Dynamic Mover” will be introduced and demonstrated live to the public at IAAPA in Amsterdam, followed by IAAPA Orlando.

A farewell reception for Ruud will be held on July 15th. He will also be present at IAAPA Amsterdam to personally bid farewell to his customers and colleagues in the industry. He has promised to remain available for advice and suggestions if needed by the ETF team.

The entire ETF team is grateful for Ruud’s contributions and leadership. They wish him all the best for the future and express their appreciation for the legacy he leaves behind.