BUSES HUALPEN IS THE MAIN CUSTOMER IN CHILE
Colombiabus newsroom – Grupo Irizar
Irizar arrived in South America in 1998, with the establishment of the plant in Brazil, in Botucatu (State of São Paulo). Shortly after the start of model manufacturing in these facilities, the Spanish manufacturer began its commercial path in Chile, always with its distributor Transportes Cabal.
Zvonimir Matjevic, founder and President of the Cabal Group, remembers how he began this association with Irizar: “On a trip to Europe in 1995 or 1996, I had the privilege of seeing many Irizar circulating in different cities, and their design caught my attention. Innovative and its position in the market, something that was very far from the offer that existed in Chile and South America in general. Just a couple of years later, in 1998, we reached an exclusive collaboration agreement with Irizar for Chile, which has allowed the creation and maintenance of a business relationship with hundreds of satisfied customers in Chile”.
Irizar has been able to perfectly understand the needs of the market and of the clients of the most diverse Chilean segments, such as tourism, routes, personnel transport and especially mining transport, which today stands out as one of the most demanding in terms of safety and in which Irizar is currently the market leader.
“Probably the greatest merit of the result has to do with the fact of being in a highly competitive market, with open borders, where we are the product with the highest initial investment but the most profitable for customers and operators. And the explanation for the success undoubtedly has to do with the high market valuation of the aspects that today are our main differentiators: safety, design, operational efficiency, durability, to name a few.”
Tomislav concludes by pointing out the importance of loyalty and the close relationship with customers, which are great differentials that have allowed Irizar to reach the milestone of 3,000 units: “Undoubtedly we owe it to our customers and their ability to value Irizar as a comprehensive and efficient proposal, a solution proposal and long-term support”.
Buses Hualpén is a customer that has continued to trust Irizar for more than 15 years and in 2020 it incorporated 150 Irizar i6 coaches. It currently has a fleet of 800 coaches, of which more than 55% are Irizar.
“The choice of our brand is mainly due to the safety offered for long and dangerous routes and the great adaptability of our coaches to extreme weather situations: the Irizar buses operated by Hualpén provide services throughout the geographical diversity of Chile, from Arica to Punta Arena. They travel through cities, paved roads and stony layers inside mining operations, reaching 4,500 meters in altitude at Compañía Minera Doña Inés de Collahuasi in the Tarapacá region, where temperatures exceed 40ºC in summer and reach -20ºC in winter, with harsh conditions of snow and ice” explains Daniel Gonzalez, General Manager of Buses Hualpén.
His opinion on the choice of the Irizar brand is clear: “There are three attributes that I would highlight about Irizar: The first is that they are very comfortable buses inside. The second is that there is an excellent after-sales and spare parts service, which makes maintenance very efficient. And, finally, Hualpén has established a relationship of trust and work, not only with the local representative, but also with the Irizar factory itself, which has proven to be very flexible and focused on satisfying our needs”.