In 1899 Irizar was founded in Spain to make fitments for horse carriages, soon expanding to build complete carriages. By 1928 it was obvious that the future lay in motor buses, so the first 22-seat wooden coach body was built on an imported French chassis. In 1948 metal was incorporated in the structure for the first time, and in 1951 the first double decker bus appeared. The 1950s saw expansion, with sales across Spain, and in 1956 the first buses were built on Pegaso chassis. City buses became an important part of the product line by the late 1960s. Industrial cooperatives became popular in the Basque country, so in 1963 the Irizar brothers, wishing to involve workers in the future of the firm, turned the company into a 60-member cooperative. By 1970 Irizar had become a market leader in advanced coach design, and in subsequent years they expanded into export markets. The revolutionary Irizar Century was launched in 1989, coinciding with Irizar's centenary. In 1994, Irizar began collaboration across European markets, first with Scania UK, then with all European countries. Irizar manufactured 1,500 coach bodies per year for the European market in conjunction with Scania. From 1995 plants were set up across the world, starting with China, then in Morocco in 1997 and both Brazil and Mexico in 1998. In 2001 a plant was set up in India, then in 2004 in South Africa. In 2009 Irizar made the decision to become a coach manufacturer, rather than just a builder of coach bodies. The Irizar i2e, the group's first electric bus, with technology developed in-house was launched at San Sebastian in 2014.
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