Factory visit gets coverage – and an order
The two-day visit ensured potential customers for Irizar UK’s range of integral coaches saw the global quality of the Irizar production lines and got the reassurance that Irizar treats every customer as an individual. Integral products include the i6, its ‘sister’ i4 and the ground-breaking PB.
The resulting press coverage from leading PCV magazine RouteONE summed up the thoughts of many of the operators: “It’s easy to lump Irizar with other Spanish bodybuilders and assume they are all the same,” wrote Editor Mel Holley. “But they are not, and it is Irizar that stands out as a manufacturer not only of quality, but also with a deep and genuine passion for its products.”
The feature talked of Irizar’s ‘commitment to its markets’ in setting up Irizar UK: “Their visitor experience left all the operators in no doubt about the passion, enthusiasm and drive for quality that the new Irizar, and Irizar UK, is delivering,” said the feature. “…meaning that its current market-leading 23.7% share of coach operator deliveries in the UK is only likely to grow.”
On the operator group’s return to the UK, Commercial Director Steve O’Neill was not expecting an immediate response, but Geraldine McIntyre, Managing Director of Golden Boy, ordered an i6 Integral within days – breaking a 20-year tradition of buying Van Hools.
“To be honest, we decided to buy purely off the back of the factory visit,” said Geraldine, whose fleet numbers around 40 vehicles. “The i6 wasn’t a vehicle we’d looked at closely – we’ve always been a Van Hool customer. But we thought we should try a different vehicle.
“The i6 is very attractive and at the factory, we were very impressed with how passionate the people are about their products, and the fact that they have invested so heavily in the future. We also talked to Lucketts – a good operator which already has i6 – and they said they’d been pleased with theirs.”
“To have received an order so quickly afterwards was not just a surprise but a huge compliment,” said Steve. “Golden Boy is in the premiership of UK operators and we believe we can show them that our vehicles are of the same, dependable and high quality, with back-up to match.”