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RECARO Holding GmbH
HeadquartersStuttgart, Germany
Key people
Shareholder & CEO: Martin Putsch
Managing Director: Hartmut Schürg
Revenue>600 Million Euro (2018)
Number of employees
>2700 (2018)

Recaro Holding, as the parent company of the Recaro Group, owns the Recaro brand and the independently operating companies Recaro Aircraft Seating (aircraft seats) based in Schwäbisch Hall and Recaro eGaming (gaming seats) based in Stuttgart, Germany. The business areas Recaro Automotive Seating and Recaro Kids are operated by licensees.


Recaro Aircraft seats
Recaro Headquarter in Stuttgart
Recaro sports seats in a Gemballa GTR 600 Evo

Founded on 1 October 1906 by Wilhelm Reutter as Stuttgarter Carosserie und Radfabrik, the company became known for building limousine bodies during the 1920s.[1][2][3] In 1909 Wilhelm's brother Albert Reutter joins the company as a partner and commercial manager. Change of name to "Stuttgarter Karosseriewerk Reutter & Co.", owner W. & A. Reutter.[4] On July 24, 1909, the patent for a "folding roof with canopy, especially for motor vehicles" is filed.[5] This so-called "reform body" was a constructive forerunner of the convertible.[5] The result is bodies including interior fittings for almost all well-known manufacturers of the time, in particular Daimler-Benz (and predecessor) as well as the Chemnitzer Wanderer-Werke.[5] In 1919, the gradual conversion from individual production to mass production takes place. 1930 Reutter enters into a partnership with the Porsche design office. From 1931 Reutter manufactured the first bodies for Porsche types 7, 8, 9, 12 and 32. 1936 After the capacity limit of the main plant in Augustenstraße had been reached, a second plant is built in Zuffenhausen. A year later in 1937 Reutter receives the order to produce the Volkswagen prototype pre-series VW 303. A couple years later in 1939 the company now has around 900 employees. 1944 the main factory in Augustenstraße is severely damaged in an air raid. The workforce shrinks to 94 people. In 1949 Porsche began engaging the company to build their Porsche 356 sports car bodies.[1][6][7][8]

In 1953, the company registered a patent for "a hinge fitting for upholstered seats with adjustable backrest", the Reutter reclining seat fitting. 1954 Completion of the 5,000th body for the Porsche 356. In 1956 the "Stuttgarter Karosseriewerk Reutter & Co. GmbH" celebrates its 50th anniversary. In the same year the 10,000th Porsche body, left the factory, which by then employed 900 people.[5]

In 1963, Porsche acquired the car body factory.[1] What remained was renamed to Recaro (REutter-CAROsserie), and focus was shifted to high-end seats.[1] The company began producing both OEM seats for Porsche and a separate line of after-market seats.[1] 1965 Recaro presents the first Recaro sports seat at the Frankfurt Motor Show.[3] In 1967 Recaro starts the construction of a production facility in Schwäbisch Hall.[9] In 1969, the Reutter family sold the company to three companies, Keiper, Huber & Wagner and Metzeler, due to economical problems. 1971 Recaro produces the first aircraft seats under the name Recaro Aircomfort under license of the American manufacturer Hardman Aerospace. Shortly afterwards Recaro launches its first own aircraft seat, the so-called Recaro 2020, and sells it to Lufthansa, among others. In 1974, the first motor sport seat was based on the Recaro professional full shell seat.[10] In 1983, Keiper purchased all shares in Recaro and established Keiper Recaro in Kirchheim.[1][8]

After a restructuring in 1997 Recaro becomes an independent company again.[11] This results in four legally and economically independent companies, including Recaro Aircraft Seating GmbH & Co. KG.[11] A year later, in 1998, Recaro introduces the first ever-growing child seat.[11] In 2004 Recaro bought the traditional company "Storchenmühle", which concentrates on the production of child seats. The company celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2006. In June 2011 Recaro sold the automotive seating division to the US automotive supplier Johnson Controls.[2] The acquisition gives Johnson Controls as licensee of the RECARO brand in the automotive industry the exclusive unlimited right to market Recaro seats for cars and commercial vehicles.[2] All other brand companies now belong to RECARO Group, Stuttgart, which is the brand owner and licensor of RECARO Automotive Seating.[12][13]

2013, after restructuring, Recaro Holding relocates its registered office back to its place of foundation, Stuttgart.[14] After its spin-off from Johnson Controls in 2016, Recaro Automotive Seating belongs to the automotive supplier Adient. The Recaro Group continues to act as licensor. In 2018, Recaro Child Safety ceases business operations (including Storchenmühle).[15] Also 2018 the Recaro Holding enters into a global license agreement with Artsana Group, which, following the cessation of Recaro Child Safety's operations (including Storchenmühle), will continue to develop, manufacture and distribute premium child seats and strollers under the Recaro Kids brand name.[16] In addition, Recaro enters the gaming market in 2018: Recaro eGaming is founded in the beginning of the year. Market launch of the Recaro Gaming Seats in 2019.

Recaro Group

The Recaro Group comprises the divisions Recaro Aircraft Seating, Recaro eGaming and Recaro Holding itself.[17]

Recaro Holding

Recaro Holding acts as the holding company of the Recaro Group and comprises the areas of strategy, finance, human resources and law as well as design, brand, communication and innovation management. The headquarter of Recaro Holding has been located in Stuttgart since May 2013.[18]

Recaro Aircraft Seating

Recaro Aircraft Seating is a developer and manufacturer of aircraft seats.[7][19] The Aircraft seat production began in 1971 under license under the name Recaro Aircomfort, initially in Stuttgart. From 1983 the entire production takes place in Schwäbisch Hall.[7] Recaro Aircraft Seating GmbH & Co. KG also has production plants in Poland, South Africa, the USA and China in addition to its headquarter in Schwäbisch Hall.[7]

In 2004, Recaro Aircraft Seating took over the majority of AAT Composites in South Africa - a company that manufactures products for the aviation industry from fibre composites.[7][20]

Recaro Gaming

Since the beginning of 2018, Recaro Gaming GmbH & Co. KG, based in Stuttgart, has been part of the Recaro Group.[21] With the founding of this new company, Recaro is positioning itself as a supplier for premium gaming seats in the rapidly growing eSports and gaming market. The company presents the first gaming seat prototype at Gamescom 2018 in Cologne.[22]

Recaro as Licensor

Recaro Automotive Seating

The Recaro Automotive Seating division, a manufacturer of car seats, was sold to US automotive supplier Johnson Controls in 2011.[7] Since 2016, Recaro Automotive Seating has belonged to the automotive supplier Adient following its spin-off from Johnson Controls. However, the Recaro Group continues to act as a licensor.[23]

Recaro Kids

The Recaro Child Safety GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Marktleugast, which merged with the long-established Storchenmühle company in 2004, ended its business operations on 31 July 2018.[7][24] At the end of October 2018, Recaro Holding and Artsana Group signed a global license agreement. The agreement covers the development, production and distribution of premium children's seats and prams under the Recaro Kids brand name.[7][25]


  • Frank Jung: Porsche 356 - made by Reutter. Delius Klasing, Bielefeld 2011, ISBN 978-3-7688-3270-0.
  • Uta & Helmut Jung: Stuttgarter Karosseriewerk Reutter - von der Reform-Karosserie zum Porsche 356. Delius Klasing, Bielefeld 2006, ISBN 3-7688-1829-2.
  • Frank Jung: RECARO: Seating in Motion. Delius Klasing, 2016, ISBN 978-3-667-10313-0.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Form follows human: Recaro's roots as coachbuilder to the Germans". Hemmings Daily. 2018-04-22. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c Shea, Terry (2012). "Recaro". Hemmings Daily. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b "RECARO Historie". Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Die Geschichte der Firma Reutter von 1906 bis 1950". Retrieved .
  5. ^ a b c d Jung, Uta (206). Stuttgarter Karosseriewerk Reutter. ISBN 9783768818292.
  6. ^ Ramey, Jay (24 April 2018). "Seatmaker Recaro has its roots in building Porsches". Autoweek. Crain Communications. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Der Sitzpionier - Recaro in Stuttgart | SWR made in Südwest". YouTube (in German). 2016-07-25. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b Edsall, Larry (2019-02-09). "Roots of Recaro: Car seat company traces to original Porsches". The Classic Cars Journal. Retrieved .
  9. ^ "Recaro Standorte". Recaro. Retrieved .
  10. ^ "50 JAHRE RECARO SCHALENSITZ" (PDF). Retrieved .
  11. ^ a b c Schäfer, Tilman. In Bewegung : der Automobilzulieferer Keiper ; Geschichte und Geschichten aus den Jahren 1920 bis 2011 (in German). p. 196. ISBN 978-3-00-036573-7.
  12. ^ Recaro Automotive Seating.
  13. ^ "Keiper Recaro Group sells Automotive Business to Johnson Controls". Recaro. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Neuausrichtung und Neupositionierung in Stuttgart". Recaro. 2013-04-29. Archived from the original on 2016-09-11. Retrieved . Pressemitteilung
  15. ^ "Recaro Child Safety stellt Geschäftsbetrieb Ende Juli 2018 ein - RECARO Child Safety" (in German). Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Recaro und Artsana schließen Lizenzvereinbarung über Premium-Kindersitze und -Kinderwagen". Retrieved .
  17. ^ Gevelmann, Patrick (2017-05-08). "Integrierte Markenführung bei RECARO: Von der Strategie bis zur Umsetzung". Brand Blog (in German). Retrieved .
  18. ^ Michael Heller (2013-04-29). "Recaro kehrt in die Heimat Stuttgart zurück". Stuttgarter Zeitung. Retrieved .
  19. ^ "Demand for aircraft seats prompts Recaro to increase production". Retrieved .
  20. ^ Pressemitteilung. "AAT Composits". LinkedIn. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Recaro Group gründet neue Sparte: Recaro eGaming". Recaro. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Recaro eGaming: Neuer Gaming-Chair-Hersteller zeigt Prototypen auf der Gamescom 2018" (in German). 2018-08-23. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "RECARO Automotive Seating". RECARO Automotive Seating. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Recaro Child Safety stellt Geschäftsbetrieb Ende Juli 2018 ein - RECARO Child Safety" (in German). Retrieved .
  25. ^ "Recaro und Artsana schließen Lizenzvereinbarung über Premium-Kindersitze und -Kinderwagen". Retrieved .

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