|Girón (Pig's Bay, the place so important to Cuban history) gave its name to the factory that built buses since 1970. Before the revolution in 1958 Cuba was under strong influence from the US and so buses were mostly imported from the US. After the revolution the fleet was renewed with 931 Leyland buses from the UK, 101 Pegaso buses from Spain and 867 from various East European buses (among which were 1 Ikarus 55, 1 Ikarus 66 and 200 Ikarus 630). Girón, based in Havana, was created in 1959. In 1970 Girón started refurbisching old buses and building new buses using parts of old buses. In 1979 the assembly of Ikarus 200-series buses imported from Hungary started. Ikarus exported to Cuba:
4509 Ikarus 260 city buses (3) and CKD kits (4506) between 1979 and 1990;
639 articulated Ikarus 280 buses (434) and CKD kits (205) between 1982 and 1988;
624 Ikarus 256 long distance coaches (212) and CKD kits (412) between 1983 and 1989.
The equivalent Girón models were XIII (260), XV (256) and XVI (280). Girón also developed its own models, mostly using Ikarus parts. Known so far are:
Girón V, a small front engine bus, with Giróns own body style;
Several Ikarus 200-series based Girón buses were seen that do not match one of the above models and probably have another model number. However, the above mentioned models are by far the most common. Girón production was 4067 (1970-1975), 9000 (1975-1980) and around 12,000 (1980-1985). Other sources mention 15000 buses produced in total. Exact numbers are probably difficult to establish as essambly, refurbishment and construction are all added up. But these numbers thus far exceed the number of imported Ikarus buses and bus kits according to the Ikarus export lists.
Girón buses have also been rebuilt to trailer buses, semi-trailer buses, railway coaches and even double-deck buses. Some of the trailer buses may have been purpose-built rather than having been converted. Also, bus bodies on IFA W50L tucks were probably purpose built. Another interesting modifications was for the use as bicycle buses (Ciclobus) in Havana, through the tunnel under te bay. Many Girón buses were also rebuilt as towing vehicles.