Recaro

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RECARO GmbH & Co. KG
Type GmbH
Industry Vehicle seating
Founded 1906
Founders Wilhelm Reutter
Headquarters Kirchheim unter Teck, Stuttgart, Germany
Website http://recaro.com

RECARO GmbH & Co. KG, commonly known as Recaro, is a German company based in Kirchheim unter Teck in the vicinity of Stuttgart, known for their automobile bucket seats. The company can produce OEM racing-style seats for mainstream manufacturers.

History[edit]

Founding and beginnings[edit]

Founded in 1906 by Wilhelm Reutter as Reutter Carosserie-Werke, the company became known for building limousine bodies during the 1920s. In 1930 they started producing bodies for the Volkswagen Beetle, and in 1949 Porsche began engaging the company to build their Porsche 356 sports car bodies.

Sports seats in Gemballa GTR 600 Evo

Move from car bodies to racing seats[edit]

Due to new manufacturing methods, the market for car bodies went downhill in the 1950s, and Reutter found itself on hard times.

In 1963, Porsche acquired the car body factory. What remained was renamed to Recaro GmbH & Co, changing its focus to high-end seats. The company began producing both OEM seats for Porsche, and a separate line of aftermarket seats. In 1969, the Reutter family sold their ownership to three companies, Keiper, Huber & Wagner and Metzeler, due to economic problems. In 1983, Keiper purchased all shares in Recaro and established Keiper Recaro GmbH & Co in Kirchheim (Teck) near Esslingen am Neckar.

Recaro today[edit]

The 1990s was a period of change for Recaro. In their home country of Germany, the name was to change to RECARO GmbH & Co. KG. Operations expanded as they established Recaro North America Inc at Oakland, Michigan, Recaro UK Ltd in Birmingham, Recaro South East Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Recaro Japan Co Ltd in Kyoto, and Recaro France in La Rochelle.

Meanwhile, Recaro seats could be seen in a variety of cars, ranging from the Aston Martin V03, the Audi S and RS models, the legendary Ford Escort RS Cosworth, to the New Beetle RSi. A side-airbag seat was added to the Recaro line.

The company also manufactures wheelchairs, as well as aircraft and seats for airlines, automotive children seats, and for the Shinkansen train in Japan. Its seats are used in the VIP lounges and substitute box at European football stadiums.[1]

Recaro seats are also used in the Leopard 2 MBT.

Recaro also manufactures seats for the dugouts of some of Europe's top football clubs including Manchester United, Reading, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Hércules, VfB Stuttgart, Benfica and West Ham United.

The Dutch company Sun Marine Seats manufacture Recaro Maritime boat seats.

In the end of 2010 Recaro sells its automotive/seating business to Johnson Controls.[2]

Airliner seats[edit]

Recaro also manufactures seats for airliners; demand has grown, with output reaching 70,000 seats in 2010, so Recaro plans to increase capacity.[3] In 2010, Recaro developed a slimline seat for airlines in conjunction with Lufthansa; Lufthansa have ordered 32000, and other airlines have ordered a further 6000.[4] Other significant customers include Air France, KLM, United Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, AirTran Airways, Qantas and Air New Zealand.

Recaro's primary competitors in the airline seating business include Acro Aircraft Seating, Zodiac Seats U.S., Zodiac Seats France, Aviointeriors, BE Aerospace, and Thompson Aero Seating.

Cars with OEM-installed Recaro seats[edit]

Below is a list of OEM-installed Recaro seats, available at the present and formerly:[5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]