COMPANIES AND MARKETS
ON “RECARO” SPEAK IN RUSSIAN
HIGH FASHION ON SEATS IN HANDS … FOUR PERSONS
TEXT, PHOTO / VADIM KRYUCHOV
Few people will like it if someone is standing behind him. So the worker, over whose shoulder Russian specialists got acquainted with the intricacies of the production process, could not stand it: "Guys, yes, I have all the seats are good." Silent scene - issued in pure Russian! There is no accent at all, our guy is one hundred percent. Hmm, come! We are on the legendary Recaro, which, not without reason, is considered the pride of German industry.
What do they know about this company in our country? Probably the fact that the best car seats in the world are produced here: comfortable, stylish, high-quality, safe. The latter, incidentally, is also confirmed by the tests of our journal (ЗР, 2000, No. 4, 6).
The car seat division is part of the major Kiper-Recaro holding, but remains a private enterprise. The real owners of Recaro are father and son, and the offspring owns a smaller share. Relationship management, as usual, is reflected in the workplace - a very friendly team has been created here. A kind of large (more than 500 people) family, which unites the tradition of making excellent seats. Perhaps the photographs presented will help to feel this atmosphere. But let's not forget about the facts.
The head office of Recaro and the plant itself are located in a cozy place in Kirheim near Stuttgart. The assembly of expensive and complex products is carried out by Turks, Italians and Rusaks - as they call immigrants from the CIS in Germany. Moreover, almost 20% of the total number of Recaro employees was recruited. Under German control, they make seats of the highest quality!
One of the industries is conveyor. Releases front and rear seats for shipment to automobile plants. The Recaro mass production will be equipped with the richest production serial machines. The seats are filled with servos, side airbags, equipped with electric heating. Upholstery textile, leather or from Alcantara (faux suede). On each back is the Recaro logo, which has become a symbol of prestige. The very rare case when eminent automobile companies do not depersonalize the supplier, but rather are proud of partnerships. The customer list is impressive. Among them are Audi (seats for the entire model range from A3 to S8!), Volkswagen (Polo, Golf, Bora, Passat), Skoda, SEAT, Ford (Mondeo, Puma) and others.
In the workshop nearby, there was no trace of automation. Here is the realm of exclusive and tuning front seats. A prominent place is occupied by a small area where every whim of the Jaguar is fulfilled. There are also numerous posts where manually-assembled world-famous “ergomed”, “orthopedists”, “sports”, “styles” are armchairs that car owners will soon install instead of regular ones. They also get into the salons of supercars from Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferrari; in the top versions of "Opel", "Mitsubishi", "Toyota", "Mazda", "Nissan", "Honda", "Isuzu", etc.
A separate branch of production is racing “shells” with a base made of glass or carbon fiber. They are also collected manually. There are also special models for taxi drivers, people with disabilities, truck drivers, child and kart seats - you can’t tell about all.
To develop such a range of products is not easy - probably, Recaro has an outstanding design center? Yes, not ordinary. Its staff consists of as many as four (!) People - two engineers and two designers. They cope with the design of new models surprisingly quickly - 6-8 weeks pass from the idea to the manufacture of the first prototype. By Russian standards - a wild rush. Meanwhile, Recaro is the legislator of “furniture” mods, where we, frankly, are far behind.
The Germans pay special attention to quality control. In the office, along with managers and advertising services, there is a well-equipped testing laboratory. Equipment - varied, but the most impressive was the stand to test the strength of the seats. Its powerful paw is fixed on the upper back and swings it back and forth. The applied load is 80 kgf, torture lasts 25 thousand cycles! According to UNECE safety standards, the seat must withstand 89 kgf. But that is a one-time impact of static force, and here is continuous loosening. Is it any wonder that the "Rekarovsky" chairs fit into the current standards with multiple reserves.