Birth of Irizar
Irizar was created in 1889 and its founder, a Gipuzkoan entrepreneur named José Antonio Irizar, was the one who decided to take the company from manufacturing iron fittings for carriages into the world of passenger transport. In the late 19th century, the family business stamped its perfectionist hallmark and immersed itself in manufacturing elegant carriages and stagecoaches, an activity that it carried out for almost three decades.
First coach bodywork
The twenties saw the gradual replacement of animal power with the unstoppable advancement of motor vehicles. And, in 1928, in the context of this transformation in the coach building industry, the first mechanically powered Irizar coach was built. It was a 22 seat vehicle with bodywork on a chassis the customer, Julián Apaolaza, has acquired in France. Its unique bonnet, called the crocodile, made it one of the most popular vehicles of the time.
The transition to manufacturing semi-metallic coaches
They began using metal in coaches and the first hand-crafted semi-metallic coach was launched, which was an extraordinary step forward for the market in terms of design and innovation.
Creation of the first "rubia"
A car-derived-van with an elegant design and quite advanced for its time. And in 1951, the first double-decker coach was produced, which made an enormous impact because of its design and finishing.
Chassis of the german company Büssing
The year 1952 marked a new stage with the application of the semi-metallic structure to the body of a chassis made by the German company Büssing, using for the first time a wooden structure fitted with metal unions and then covered with metal panels. This one-and-a-half-storey city bus already introduced some of the innovations inherent in the incredible know-how of the Irizar brothers.
Consolidation of the company and conversion to a PLC
During the 50s, the structure of the company gradually took the form of the company that would, in 1960, become a public limited company. This period saw the beginning of a new stage of consolidation of the Irizar product and the opening of new markets. In addition to beginning to manufacture the first coaches for customers in the Basque Country, Irizar began expanding into Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Seville.
Transformation of Irizar to S. Coop.
A few kilometres from Ormaiztegi, Mondragon saw the birth of industrial cooperatives in the Basque Country, a philosophy that the Irizar brothers adopted in order to involve workers in the future of the company, giving partners the right to participate in its management. In 1963, Irizar became a cooperative with 60 members. The transformation enabled the company to continue its commitment to innovation and product development.
In 1969, Irizar launched the model formally known as the Dinam, whose technical features surpassed its design. The standard model had ventilation using a skylight in the roof and side windows with an upper sliding pane, while the luxury version had air conditioning that used an auxiliary system.
If, during the sixties, Irizar has positioned itself as one of the best coachwork companies in Spain and the first to incorporate air conditioning as a stock option in its coaches, it was in the seventies when they launched new coach models like the Korosti, which won the Giralda de Oro prize for the best Spanish coach in 1972. Later on, they would develop the Urko and Urepel models.
Strong growth and the beginnings of internationalisation
During these 14 years of strong economic growth, Irizar also experienced strong growth in Ormaiztegi until it was able to manufacture more than 1,500 coaches per year. In 2001, the Irizar pb, Coach of the Year in Spain and Coach of the Year in Europe, was launched on the market, a vehicle that has been praised by the best specialised magazines in Europe.
From manufacturing coachwork to its own brand of coaches
At the height of the crisis, in 2009 Irizar carried out a revolutionary strategy and made the decision to become a manufacturer of complete coaches. It was a transcendental decision for the future of the company given that, in a market where coachwork companies were beginning to have major problems and the majority were disappearing, Irizar became stronger and grew to record historic levels. In parallel, an enormous effort towards industrial diversification and technology was undertaken because they were seen as urgent needs for carrying out the strategy.
Full range of complete coaches and mobility
In 2011 the Irizar brand of complete coaches was launched, which signified the leap from being a bodywork firm to being a coach manufacturer. While complete coach technology was introduced in 2009, it was in 2011 that the full range was launched in order to expand the supply of conventional buses (chassis plus bodywork) to customers, complementing and providing complete Irizar coaches to all our worldwide markets.
125 years and stronger than ever
Irizar turned 125 in 2014 and celebrated its anniversary around the world with customers, suppliers, partners and external plant representatives as well as members of the Irizar Group, brands, distributors, the national and international industry press and Irizar's own current and retired staff members.
Even though the decision to create a brand was made in 2009, it was not until 2014 and 2015 that two key elements aligned with building the brand were addressed.
A new era: A new vision
In 2015, Irizar presented the Irizar i8, which is a new high-end coach that is the result of multiple technological solutions developed within the Group and the meticulous attention to aesthetics that arise from the experience and innovative spirit of the brand.
Additionally, for the first time, Irizar attended the Busworld fair with its full range of complete coaches and buses equipped with the Group's latest technological advances in security systems, energy efficiency and storage, freight, fleet management and entertainment.
The knowledge and experience of all the Group's companies combine to create Irizar e-mobility, a company whose business is focused on offering complete electromobility solutions for vehicles as well as their main components and systems for cities. Located in Aduna, it will begin operations in May, 2017. The plant has a covered surface area of 18,000 m2 and sits on a 37,000 m2 lot.
Un año de éxitos
We have a new generation of high-tech coaches for the premium segment, class II intercity coaches with hybrid or biodiesel technology and class I zero-emission electric city buses.
A catalogue of products aimed at providing a differential in safety, reliability, sustainability, technology and profitability to our customers.
Inauguration of Irizar e-mobility
The production plant becomes the first factory entirely dedicated to electromobility solutions in Europe.
Irizar celebrates its 130 anniversary and presents a new range of more efficient, more sustainable and safer coaches.
A year marked by the health crisis
A tough year with Covid-19 as a major global protagonist.
Together for a safer and more sustainable future
Irizar is adapting to a new reality full of uncertainties and still strongly marked by Covid-19.
Launch of Irizar i6S Efficient
Irizar launches the most efficient coach in its history, with a reduction of consumptions and emissions up to 13%. The Irizar i6S Efficient wins Coach of the Year in Spain 2023 and Sustainable Bus Award Coach 2023 awards.