Recaro celebrates “50 Years of the Sportsitz”

Successful product revolutionized automobile seating

Stuttgart, Germany. In 2015, Recaro is celebrating a special anniversary: Thanks to its foam padding, lateral support, and ergonomic back contour, the Recaro Sportsitz revolutionized automobile seating in 1965. In the anniversary year, the innovative seat is the focus of various Recaro events and trade show appearances.

In September 1965, the Recaro Sportsitz was first shown at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt. The innovative aspect of the visually striking seat was the foam padding, which compensated for shock from the road. Until then, metal springs in the seat core and horsehair padding were common, which resulted in limited shock compensation. Pronounced side supports also provided better body support. What had been proven in racing now premiered in a seat for road vehicles.

“At the IAA in 1965, the seat prototype was enthusiastically received by the visiting public,” says Martin Putsch, Shareholder and Chief Executive Officer of Recaro Holding. “That was a more than successful start for the young company Recaro.” The seat specialist emerged from the “Stuttgarter Karosseriewerk Reutter & Co.” in 1963. Reutter decided at the time to sell its body plant with about 1000 employees to Porsche and focus on its core competency of “seating”.

“For Recaro with its 250 specialists, the Sportsitz was a milestone in product development which greatly affected the future and reorientation of the company,” says Putsch.

Pioneering Recaro product development

As a product for sport drivers who did not want to give up a healthy degree of comfort, the Sportsitz was standard equipment in the Porsche 911 S. Thanks to the console as an adapter for installation in various types of vehicles, the product was also the first retrofit seat that could be used regardless of the manufacturer. Recaro was henceforth not dependent on a key customer but was able to tap completely new markets, which it has been successfully serving up to the present day. In this way the name Recaro became synonymous with good seating.

The company underpinned this reputation with seats for various applications: today aircraft seats and child seats are available under the Recaro name, too. For Recaro, the human being is always at the center of product development: The seats are designed for better sitting and individual adjustment. “The Sportsitz embodied from the very beginning what we call Ingenious Design today: the ideal combination of ergonomics, function, and aesthetics,” says Hartmut Schürg, Chief Brand and Design Officer of Recaro Holding. This Sportsitz DNA, which has continuously undergone further development, is still part of every Recaro seat – whether on the road or in the air.

The Recaro Group encompasses two divisions: Recaro Aircraft Seating (aircraft seats) in Schwäbisch Hall and Recaro Child Safety (child car seats) in Marktleugast, as well as the Recaro Holding located in Stuttgart. The Group’s consolidated sales amounted to more than 382 million euros in 2013. Currently the Group employs more than 2,000 employees at its locations around the world.
Recaro Automotive Seating is a product group of the multi-industry company Johnson Controls and uses the Recaro brand under a license issued by Recaro Holding.

Press Contact RECARO Group
Hendrik Ockenga
Telephone: +49 711 25277-240