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.
Wilhelm Reutter founded his coach company for automobiles on the Schlossstrasse in Stuttgart on October 1st, 1906.
Introduction of the patented “Reutter’s Reform Coach”, a predecessor of the present cabriolet.
Small-lot production for automobile customers such as Adler, Austro-Daimler, BMW, Bugatti, Buick, Dixi, Fiat, Horch, Mauser, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz, Minerva, NSU, Opel, and Steiger.
Reutter received the order to produce the VW Beetle prototype from the Porsche company. 3 years later, the first small-lot production began with 40 VW Beetles.
An air attach on Stuttgart heavily damaged the primary plant. After the war, Reutter, with 94 employees, produced hand trucks and small ovens, as well as repairs of all types, such as the street cars of the Stuttgart Transportation Company.
The company received a large order to produce 500 complete coaches for the new 356 sports car.
Porsche overtook the complete coach factory of Reutter with 1,000 employees. From the name Reutter Carosserie (Coach) became RECARO. The new company with 250 employees produced vehicle seats for Porsche and reclining seats braces. 2 years later, the first RECARO sports seat was introduced at the Automobile Exhibition.
The Reutter family sold RECARO to the companies Keiper, Hubbert & Wagner, and Metzeler.
RECARO begins the production of the first airline passenger seats.
RECARO built the first JIT plant in Bremen and supplied complete seat mountings for the new Mercedes 190. One year later, Keiper bought out all RECARO shares.
On the 8th of September, the new RECARO Center in Kirchheim Tech was opened. Design, development, construction, marketing, and sales are all combined in these attractive buildings.
As part of the reconstruction of Keiper RECARO GmbH & Co. RECARO became an independent company under the roof of the Keiper Recaro Group.
RECARO focuses on premium vehicles in the OEM segment. Through many innovations, this company division has grown to 75% of total sales volume.
RECARO strengthens its newest field of business, “child seating” by taking over the German traditional company “Storchenmuhle”.
Recaro enters a new field with it's new office line by the co-operation with an excellent manufacturer of office chairs.
RECARO celebrates its 100-year birthday with representatives from politics, associations and industry at its place of birth in Stuttgart.
a contract has been signed by DHL Exel Supply chain and Recaro on a co-operation of modul production and logistics of car seats. This business model enables automobile manufacturers a JIT/JIS production on site for complete cars up to 80.000 units a year.
RECARO offers furniture for the first time.
Production of seat braces for automobile manufacturers Production.
Manufacturing of vehicle seats for Porsche.
RECARO developed the first seat worldwide with a lateral guide (first sport seat).
The first seat worldwide with an adjustable shoulder support is introduced to the market.
Introduction of head supports (An option at first, but now standard since 1973 in every RECARO seat).
World innovation: the first vehicle seat with integrated seat belt is introduced by RECARO at the Automechanika.
RECARO begins working in the area "airline passenger seats".
RECARO offers the anti-submarining seat upholstery guide, as its first manufacturer, which prevents it from sliding under the seat belt during an accident.
The entire plant moves from the Augustenstraße in Stuttgart to the former Wiest stove factory in Kirchheim/Teck.
RECARO introduces a full-shell as seat structure "Ideal seat 73C": world innovation in safety.
The first RECARO motor-sport seat "RECARO Profi" (full shell) is introduced.
Track-breaking innovations in ergonomics: RECARO Airmatic System ® (pneumatic lumbar supports), seat surface extension and adjustable side faces on the seat surface and backrest.
RECARO introduces the electrically adjustable backrest.
Introduction of the first RECARO utility vehicle seat based on the Orthopäd 81. The seat has a swinging system.
Transfer of the division "airline passenger seats" to Schwäbisch Hall.
RECARO introduces a seat with stereo loudspeakers integrated in the head supports.
The first vehicle seat worldwide with bracing on both sides.
The comfort seat "RECARO CSE" is offered with memory function.
The first seat for taxi drivers, the "T line" with breathing upholstery.
Innovation in the field of materials: the back shell of the sports seat A8 is made of plastic.
Introduction of the first passenger vehicle seat (taxi seat) with the patented RECARO vent system®.
Introduction of the RECARO Variomed. World innovation: the first vehicle seat with asymmetrical adjustment.
Market introduction of the new retrofitting generation with the models "Trend", "Style" and "Sport".
Introduction of the first racing shell worldwide with head protection. With the new racing shell (Pro Racer) RECARO revolutionizes safety standards in professional racing sport.
Equipping the complete sport construction series for Audi models S3, S4, and S6 with RECARO seats.
Market introduction of the first RECARO child seat: the "Start" concept is a "growing" children seat, a novelty on the market.
Together with the KEIPER company, the concept of the Maybach rear seat system is developed.
The development of the first of the RECARO "Trend"-based series seats for Aston Martin (DB 7).
The development of the RECARO ModuLine - a system of standardized construction elements for upgrading series seat structures.
Beginning of collaboration with Opel OPC to develop OPC-specific sport seats, beginning with the Opel Zafira OPC.
The introduction of the RECARO kart seat.
The RECARO INCASE (Intelligent Car Sensing) represents a new weight and position detection system, developed together with Sartorius.
As its first manufacturer, RECARO offers a racing shell tailored to the HANS-system. HANS is an abbreviation for "Head and Neck Support" and is used in professional racing to protect the driver during severe accidents.
The new hybrid lightweight seating concept is introduced for the first time at the IAA.
RECARO introduces the first universal side air bag seat worldwide which can be retrofitted to the market. It can be built into different vehicle models, without difficulty and with ABE.
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.
The hybrid lightweight seat is adopted in series production for the VW Golf R 32 and the Audi RS 4. The new seat generation combines sportiness and comfort.
Another development first, RECARO succeeds with its new hybrid lightweight shell to revolution the seat structure. The load-bearing seat structure utilises the latest polymer technology allowing RECARO to offer an immense reduction in weight combined with more interior space and many design options for the car, when compared to traditional seat construction.
A co-operation with an experienced manufacturer of office chairs allows RECARO to enter this new market segment with its ‘office line’. The chairs are also used as 24-hours chairs in control centres.
The launch of the RECARO Style XL was the companies answer to the requests of the taller driver. This aftermarket seat with its high back rest and excellent ergonomics was designed for the requirements of large people. The seat not only provides a special high backrest and an extra high adjustable headrest, but also a seat cushion extension.
The Profi race shell “Pole Position (ABE)” is the first full shell seat with a general type approval for road use, enabling an absolute motor sport feeling.
With the “Cross Speed” RECARO launches a seat specifically designed for off-road vehicles (SUVs).
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 launches its first ergonomic seat for forklift drivers. With its long lasting experience in the field of ergonomic seats RECARO developed this special seat “Expert FL” for forklift and crane applications.
Weighing only 4.5kg and made of pure carbon-fibre the club sport race-shell “RECARO Pole Position Carbon (ABE) is the world’s lightest seat.Offering more performance, superb lateral support, a fantastic appearance and a huge weight saving compared to standard seats.
Another global first, RECARO presents its new seat structure, which offers the lowest distance between hip point and vehicle floor. This seat structure is one component of RECARO’s new “kit system”.
RECARO launches its new standardised track concept for aftermarket baseframes (fitting kits), which offers manual and electric adjustment options.
RECARO presents the seat study “Pure Seating” for city and electric vehicles on the “Automotive Interiors Expo”. Approximate 50% weight reduction with this concept – without losing space or comfort.