Volume 15 | Issue 1 | Year 2012

In a country with a rail network that is mainly limited to freight trains and air travel tickets that are priced inaccessibly for the majority, Brazil’s roads and transport system are often the only option. Whether it is for tourism, personal or business travel, millions of people rely on the roads to get around Brazil, which is approximately 90 percent of the size of the US. Facing long distance drives in tropical temperatures through vast uninhabited terrains can be a daunting prospect, but one which is made calm and comfortable by Irizar.
Irizar produces coaches for medium and long distances. Founded in 1889 in Spain, with more than 120 years of history, the group is the undisputed leader in the Spanish sector and one of the most important references on a worldwide scale. Today Irizar has coach manufacturing facilities in seven countries (Spain, South Africa, Mexico, Morocco, China, India and Brazil) and three joint ventures in Spain, as well as a commercial presence in more than 90 countries throughout the five continents.

Irizar Brasil was established in Botucatu in São Paulo state in 1997. Initially a joint venture with a local company specialized in the manufacture of urban buses, Irizar assumed complete control in 1998. In the same year, the first Irizar Century model coaches produced nationally were presented at the Expo-Bus trade fair in São Paulo and one of the biggest bus brands in Brazil was born.

News of the new name in quality coaches traveled fast, and while Brazil was the first South American market that Irizar embarked on, the company was soon exporting to the rest of the continent, Central America and the Caribbean.

All of Irizar’s technology is of European origin, but Etxezarreta points out that it is “adapted for the Brazilian and international markets.” The manufacture of the buses in centered on the company’s three main objectives: safety, reliability and service. “We have the most rigid safety standards in the world and do not compromise,” he continues. Certain security measures that are legal requirements in Europe, such as the use of anti-fire devices, are standard despite not being mandatory in Brazil.

Specializing in stylish transport and comfort, Irizar’s coaches also feature state-of-the-art technology such as aerodynamic bodywork, low fuel consumption engines, durable tires and excellent performance/weight proportion engineering.

The coaches are all manufactured at Botucatu in São Paulo state in Irizar Brasil’s 19,000-square-meter factory. Employing 530 staff and standing in an industrial park of 39,000 square meters, the facility produces the three models. “We are very well vertically integrated. Very few components are purchased from third parties and we pride ourselves on on-site manufacturing,” Etxezarreta says.

Safety, innovation, design and durability are the four defining factors of Irizar’s differential. “Our excellent customer service and close proximity to clients guarantee repeat orders and continued success,” says Etxezarreta. The company’s high standards and recognition also set it in good stead for future changes in the industry such as the introduction of tighter restrictions on carbon emissions and environmental controls, due in 2012.

Growth is an inherent part of Irizar’s history and as the company steers toward continued success, updating technology and sensitive to its many market regions, it maintains a firm grip on the wheel. A leading name in luxury road travel, above all Irizar promises passengers a comfortable and safe journey.

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