From Saddler Master to Global Player.
The success story of the present RECARO company began in 1906 in Stuttgart, as the 32-year old saddler master Wilhelm Reutter founded the company “Reutter, Wilhelm, Saddler. Spezialitat: Luxus- und Motorwagen, englische Geschirre” (Specialities: Luxury and Motor Vehicles, English Ware). Reutter quickly made a name for itself in the up-and-coming automobile industry which was largely positioned in Stuttgart: Bosch, Maybach and Daimler were the big names which wrote history and laid the building blocks for the present location of mobility, Stuttgart.
The business of the saddler master flourished, and in 1910 the company signed with the firm name “Stuttgarter Karosseriewerk Reutter & Co” (Stuttgart Coach Factory of Reutter & Co). The young saddler master was innovative and open to new mobility. In his workshop in 1912, the patented Reutter Reform Coach was produced, which later was called the Cabriolet.
Reutter produced coaches for Daimler-Benz, Horch, and companies that have long been forgotten. Not to be forgotten were other icons of the automobile industry with whom Reutter was closely involved.
Professor Ferdinand Porsche had the prototypes of the VW Beetle constructed by Reutter. Also, after the war, the Porsche and Reutter companies worked closely together. The coach company Reutter became famous worldwide with the Porsche 356. Reutter was also active for BMW and the German Postal Service. The coach for the BMW 328 sports car was also produced by Reutter as well as coaches designed to meet the needs of the Postal Service.
The foundation for the present company was laid in 1963, as RECARO was formed as a play on words – Reutter and CAROsserien (coaches). The first RECARO sport seat was introduced in 1965, and in motor racing, the company quickly became a recognized brand name.
1969 RECARO joined Keiper. Today RECARO operates from headquarters in Kirchheim as an independent member within the internationally active Keiper Recaro Group, which has more than 7.500 employees in 30 locations.
The spirit of the driven, innovative and creative company founder Wilhelm Reutter, appear to also be reflected in the production of automobile seats. In 1965, RECARO introduced the first seat worldwide with a lateral guide, and in 1968 the first seat worldwide with an adjustable shoulder support was introduced onto the market.
RECARO redefined sitting in the automobile. Until then, seats in automobiles more closely resembled home seating, not offering any side support. Thus RECARO began a new age. The designers from RECARO entered into discussions with researchers from medicine, ergonomics, and biomechanics. There were crash tests, and the limits of loads on the human body were defined.
From this close and ever more intensive collaboration with universities and specialized physicians, a store of knowledge and experience was collected by RECARO which is surely unique worldwide. RECARO had answered the questions "How should people sit?" and "How is the body correctly supported?" early on:
RECARO introduced the first seat with integrated seatbelt.
RECARO produced their first “airline passenger seat”.
RECARO introduced a full shell made of sheet steel as a seat structure.
The track-breaking innovation in ergonomics was introduced with pneumatic lumbar support.
The first vehicle seat with bracing on both sides was introduced.
RECARO introduced a vehicle seat with asymmetrical adjustment as a worldwide innovation.
was the introduction of the first racing shell with head protection.
Market launch of the first child seat from RECARO.
the lightest serially-produced seat in the world at that time was brought onto the market as the carbon shell seat of the Porsche Carrera GT.
Another development first, RECARO succeeds with its new hybrid
lightweight shell to revolution the seat structure. This unique lightweight
structure not only reduces weight but also offers more space and many
design options for the car.
RECARO presents the infant carrier ‘Young Profi Plus’ with its patented
innovation allowing it to grow with the baby.
By co-operating with an experienced manufacturer of office chairs, RECARO enables its customers to also sit comfortably in the office.
RECARO celebrates its 100-anniversary with customers, journalists and
employees at its place of birth in Stuttgart.
A specially designed seat named “Cross Speed” is launched for off-road
RECARO becomes a full range supplier in the child seat segment with its
newly developed products for the ECE groups 0+, I and II / III with
IsoFix or SeatFix.
RECARO celebrates the 50th Football-Stadium to be equipped with its
exclusive seats for the players; now many of the world’s top clubs,
including Real Madrid, Manchester United, Olympique Lyon, Ajax Amsterdam, Rapid Wien and Sao Paulo are equipped with RECARO benches.
DHL Exel Supply Chain and RECARO sign a co-operation contract for the
modular production and logistic of car seats.
introduction of RECARO furniture range.
RECARO presents the seat study “Pure Seating” for city and electric vehicles.
From Master Saddler to Global Player; following its relocated in 1973 from the tight spaces of Augustenstraße in Stuttgart to Kirchheim, RECARO has positioned itself as a ‘worldwide’ partner to the automobile industry, fulfilling the most stringent demands and whose revolutionary innovations continue to re-invent the mobile seat. The new lightweight hybrid design for vehicle seats being a perfect example. This new technology allows vehicles designers and manufactures to reduce weight by approximately 20% compared to traditional processes, whilst increasing interior space and offering a huge diversity of individual design solutions. Examples of this new seating technology from RECARO can been seen in a diverse range of vehicles including, Audi’s S3, RS6, TT RS and R8 models, the Ford Focus RS and the Opel Insignia OPC.
At the Geneva Automobile Show in the beginning of March 2006, RECARO, in collaboration with the Swiss company Rinspeed, presented a prototype for an automobile seat made of a gel mass, which conforms perfectly to the body and perhaps one day will also be a reality. In the near future, RECARO appears to have a seat in development which will automatically adapt to any person, regardless if he is short, tall, thin or heavy, and always travels in the correct position. This is no longer a utopia, instead, it is the unceasing development of many ideas from many years of research - the path from vision to reality is no longer far.