Driven by passion for people, the environment and the latest, market-leading technologies, Irizar is one of those companies that moves with the times – and from strength to strength.
What does it take to build a good bus body? Not simply “good” but also safe, stylish, technologically advanced and eco-sensitive. In its 120 years manufacturing bus bodies for luxury, tourism and scheduled charter services in 75 markets worldwide, Irizar has come to know exactly what it takes.
To illustrate the point, we really need look no further than the company’s Century Luxury. At 11,3 metres long, 3,6 metres high and 2,6 metres wide this new 36-seater luxury coach is aimed directly at the tourism industry. Irizar South Africa general manager Paul Nel says tourism operators have been experiencing smaller groups visiting South Africa and therefore larger coaches have become less economical to run.
“The size of groups has decreased to around 28 people at a time, so this vehicle fits [what’s currently] a niche market,” Nel says. The coach’s low weight, modest dimensions and advanced aerodynamics deliver other positive effects, in that it’s extremely nimble and fuel efficient. “It offers operators low running costs: it’s the perfect size for current tour groups and therefore operators’ CPK (cents per kilometre) figures are favourable.”
With a toilet at the back, a fridge, hot and cold water on tap, exceptional leg room – a minimum 911 mm seat pitch – audio equipment, plus two flat screen monitors, passengers can enjoy the Century Luxury to the full.
This is a vehicle that typifies what Irizar stands for. It begins with strong, customer-focused values – the key words here being safety, service and reliability – backed by constant innovation. To ensure that, as with all of Irizar’s products, the Century Luxury is subject to stringent quality tests after being designed to incorporate the latest technology and computerised management in line with the strictest current directives and regulations.
In a bid to prove its quality the coach has been subjected to gruelling tests and thorough inspection after driving though extreme dust conditions as well as simulated torrential rainfall. But that’s what a typical passenger would hope to be shielded from; the detail goes much further.
All components used in building an Irizar coach are labelled with the European “E” Standard; an international mark denoting the component complies with stringent international standards that govern every aspect of an Irizar coach’s design and build. And just as Irizar uses global quality standards, its suppliers are also required to use technologies in their products on par with the world’s leading manufacturers.
Needless to say, the majority of those are safety related. For example: the assurance that no part of the vehicle that could become detached will enter the passenger space; that no part of the “survival space” will be ejected from a possibly buckled structure after an accident; and how the vehicle’s windows break are just some of the many stringent parameters designed into an Irizar coach.
Irizar’s company values are a strong element in its everyday operations: they’re what allow the company to develop products that ultimately result in the satisfaction of its employees, clients, external partners, society and the environment. Indeed, people and the environment are what the company designs its vehicles for and around.
Vehicles such as the Century Luxury. Vehicles that set the standard.