Strong performance from Irizar

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Irizar in Spain grew by 30% in 2015, thanks to demand in Europe for integral coaches and bodies on chassis in Spain. ANDY IZATT
Irizar in Spain grew by 30% in 2015, thanks to demand in Europe for integral coaches and bodies on chassis in Spain. ANDY IZATT

Group ends 2015 with more than €550m turnover and 30% growth in its main Spanish business

SPAIN The Irizar Group has ended 2015 with its turnover exceeding €550 million and 30% growth at its headquarters in Spain leading to job creation. Growth is forecast in all the group’s companies and there’s a new business dedicated to ‘electromobility.’

Irizar continued the trend from 2014, a year which saw the Spanish business based at Ormaiztegi grow more than other group companies. That’s a change from previous years when, as a result of the economic crisis and lack of growth in Europe, the Brazilian and Mexican plants were where growth took place.

Irizar in Spain grew by 30% in 2015, thanks to demand in Europe for integral coaches and bodies on chassis in Spain. It has also begun to manufacture integral coaches for the US market. In addition to increased production, the strategy of strengthening the brand in the premium segment continued and that has led to improvements in the quality of coach fit-out.

Irizar’s market share in Spain is over 40%. The market has grown by 30% compared to 2014, a year which itself experienced around 20% growth compared to 2013. With that growth, Irizar’s headquarters once again leads the group and accounts for 46% of its total turnover. The contribution of the overseas plants went down to 34% while the remaining companies account for 20%.

As a result of this growth trajectory, Irizar has taken on 142 people in the last two years, steadily increasing the workforce by 20%. Of these new people, 99 have higher-level vocational training qualifications and the remaining 43 are Masters graduates hired to increase the company’s technological capability and capacity to carry out R&D projects.

Given the economic situation in Brazil, Irizar’s strategy there continues to be based on increasing export opportunities by taking advantage of a heavily devalued currency while also continuing to position itself in the premium coach segment.

Although registrations in Mexico are down by 27% this year due to economic reasons, Irizar ended the year maintaining its production volume and with a market share of over 60%, in part due to the interest surrounding the launch of the new high-end model, the Irizar i8.

In Morocco, new record turnover has been achieved due to meeting the demands of the local market for luxury coaches and assisting Irizar Ormaiztegi with the manufacture of Century bodies for European customers.

With regard to 2016, Irizar’s headquarters and Irizar Mexico are expected to continue being the group’s main driving forces. Growth is forecast in integral coaches in Europe and the United States. There has already been the introduction of integral coaches in Spain and the Irizar i3 and i4 range of hybrid coaches is due to be launched for metropolitan services.

The success of the Irizar i8 model in Mexico has been impressive, said the manufacturer and has led to around a thousand orders for this top-of-the-range model which replaces the Irizar PB. In addition, Irizar has begun to manufacture integral coaches in Mexico. The strategies of increasing exports from Brazil and manufacturing Centurys at the Moroccan plant for Europe will continue. As for the rest of the group, growth is expected at all existing companies.

This year will see the addition of Irizar e-mobility, a new electromobility company. All new products and systems will be in place by the end of 2016. The Irizar Group aims to promote the use of clean and accessible transport. It is committed to the environment and the well-being and health of people, creating better urban environments. It is also committed to reducing noise pollution, to achieving low fuel consumption which reduces costs, and to zero-emission vehicles.

The group has estimated that its investment in constructing a new plant in Aduna (Gipuzkoa), Spain will be €75m. It will have a floor area of 18,000 m2 within a 37,000 m2 plot and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2016. It will not only produce electric buses, but also vehicles that complement the electromobility needs of cities as well as their main components and systems. The aim is to offer integral and comprehensive solutions for cities, said the manufacturer.

The Group’s 100% electric i2e bus is already operating in London, Barcelona, Paris and Marseille and has been tested in cities such as Madrid, Pamplona, Zaragoza and Nice.