When it comes to buses, a variety of companies in Mexico oversee the assembly and distribution processes involved in getting these products ready for use in the public transportation segment. One company, however, specializes not only in the production of buses, but also in the design and testing phases for these models. “We’re the only bus company in Mexico with a department for engineering and development,” notes Manuel Becerra, director of public relations at Carrocerias Hermanos Becerra S.A. de C.V. (BECCAR).
BECCAR, a family-owned company based in the city of Zapotlanejo in the central state of Jalisco in Mexico, specializes in the design and manufacturing of urban buses, as well as intercity units. Its founders first began offering bodywork repair services for buses involved in public transportation, and eventually branched out to create buses of their own. Today the company has an ample product line, and has drawn attention from the international market for its high quality, innovative buses.
Within Mexico the company’s buses are used in various areas of the country, from Tijuana to Cancún, and including Mexico City. The company currently produces between 80 and 100 units per month, with plans to increase its monthly output to between 100 and 120 units on a monthly basis in 2012.
IN THE FAMILY
The company first started four decades ago, when four brothers began working in a shop that specialized in repair services for public transportation units. “Soon they became leaders in the business and then decided to start their own company,” notes Manuel Becerra.
When the brothers and their father founded the family firm, they ran it as a facility that specialized in the repair of buses. Then in 1992 they added a new segment to the company, which consisted of a department that focused on the remodeling of buses. They also converted the company into what it known as today: CARROCERIAS HERMANOS BECERRA. By this time, the company had 50 workers, in addition to the four brothers and their father.
Business grew quickly, and soon the founders set their sights on the goal of creating a unit of their own. The company’s first model, the ALCE bus, was designed for transportation between cities. As soon as it hit the market, clients began to place orders. “Soon there was a growing demand for the company’s own brand,” says Manuel Becerra.
In 2002, the company expanded its product line to include urban buses. During the following years, it continued to add to its product offerings and design new models. In recent years it has carried out projects for the government of the state of Jalisco and other metropolitan areas within the country.
While a number of companies focus on assembling buses, BECCAR is the only one in Mexico that also designs them. Several years ago, when the company introduced a product known as the BECCAR unit to the market, it was the first intercity bus designed and built in Mexico. For its use of science and technology, in 2007 the company was listed as “Entrepreneurs of the Year.” In 2011, it was recognized by Mexico’s Secretary of Economy as a Successful Business.
Today BECCAR creates designs for bodywork for seven different companies: Mercedez Benz, International, Isuzu, Hino, Scania, Volkswagen, and Man. Employees at the company oversee the entire process of building buses, including technical development and the testing of its products.
The company continues to be a family-run business with 100 percent Mexican capital. Approximately 560 workers carry out operations at its plant in Jalisco. The company offers service to 180 agencies spread out throughout the country. It produced approximately 1,000 units during 2011. For 2012, plans are in place to create 1400 units, notes Manuel Becerra.
BECCAR currently produces urban and intercity units. Among these is URBUS G2, a unit designed for urban zones. The vehicle stands out for its compact and light design, built to easily transport people short distances. BECCAR designed the URBUS G2 as a low-cost option that still maintains a high performance level. As a leading brand in its market segment, URBUS G2 offers features to provide as safe a ride possible to the passengers on board.
The company also designed URVIABUS FE / OF, a model specializing in both safety and comfort. Another unit, the URVIABUS OF, features ample space for both the driver and passengers. A few of its other features include: ascending and descending stairs that offer plenty of room for passengers, an operating cabin with ergonomic equipment, and a lightweight, durable structure.
When it comes to a solid image, the company’s URVIABUS FE / OF fits the bill, offering a high quality design with a matching look. The URVIABUS FE / OF, like the other buses produced by the company, offers wide visibility, making it easier for drivers to spot pedestrians as the buses moves through city streets.
The model URBI is a minibus designed for urban routes, tourist areas, and personnel transport. The unit features access doors both in front and in the rear of the bus. Like the other models produced by BECCAR, the URBI complies with the established norms and regulations in Mexico for city and intercity transportation. The company’s FULLTON model is made for long distance passenger transportation.
In 2010, the company released a new Interbus model, a unit designed for travel between cities in Mexico. The model comes in two sizes: one with the capacity to hold between 41 and 45 passengers, and a second that can carry between 45 and 49 passengers. The product’s features include reclining seats, electronically-controlled doors, and digital equipment.
COMBINING QUALITY WITH INNOVATION
One of the key strategies that has kept clients coming back over the years lies in an emphasis in quality, says Manuel Becerra. Starting with the pieces used to produce a bus, the company looks for the very best providers and parts. It has established relationships with suppliers that provide high quality materials.
The company currently has plans underway to become more vertically integrated, with a strategy to develop a corporation with the following participating companies: SERVIBUS, offering repair services; BECTUOR, with its tourist transportation line; CARGABE, a transportation and cargo logistics line; and a supply plant. “We want to generate a new plant that will support our manufacturing plant,” explains Julian Becerra, general director of the company.
Its strong emphasis on quality has been noticed not only by clients, but on the international scene as well. “We’ve had international companies approach us recently,” notes Julian Becerra.
One factor that separates the company from others on the market involves the reinvestment, says Julian Becerra. “We continually reinvest in the company, with the goal to continue developing and providing the best response to clients.”
While BECCAR is dedicated to the manufacturing of buses, it also places a high emphasis on innovating and developing products. “We have the best equipment,” adds Julian Becerra. “We’re currently creating a virtual portal where clients, suppliers, consumers, and those involved in public transportation can contact us 24/7.”
Looking into the years ahead, BECCAR wants to play a role in the growth and development of Mexico’s economy. “We want to continually build the economy in our community, state, and country,” says Julian Becerra. “We want others to see that the people of Mexico can indeed produce a solid, high quality product.” By continuing to develop and manufacture its state-of-the-art models, the company will keep leading the way in Mexico and setting an example for others to follow.