January 14 2020  |  Seating

Recaro reflects on successes and challenges in 2019

By Rick Lundstrom

Recaro's award-winning CL3710 seat for long range Economy Class

Seat maker Recaro reported today that in 2019 it earned a record-breaking revenue of €600 million (US$670 million) by the end of October. It also delivered four long-range programs.

“Recaro experienced significant growth in 2019, thanks to the high level of performance by team members across all of our sites,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO and Shareholder of Recaro Aircraft Seating in today’s release. “This hard work resulted in numerous innovations in both business class and economy class seating, culminating in winning the Crystal Cabin Award at the AIX. One can’t ask for a better testimony to Recaro really raising the bar when it comes to ‘driving comfort in the sky.’”

One of the programs, the CL6710 Business Class seat was delivered to China Southern Airlines. Numerous Economy Class products were completed as well. Weighing in at eight kilograms, the SL3710 Economy Class seat was selected by TAP Air Portugal for its lightweight structure. KLM Cityhopper, the regional carrier of KLM, selected Recaro to outfit 21 of its new aircraft with a hybrid layout of the ergonomic BL3710 and the cost-effective SL3710 seats.

In the Americas, Recaro said it increased its production output by 50% compared to 2018 and achieved record sales and 100% on time delivery. Significant improvements were also reflected in customer satisfaction, as the Net Promoter Score - a metric to assess customer loyalty for a company's brand, products or services - increased by more than 50% to 37.

Recaro last year continued with its expansion plan dubbed the “space2grow” initiative. At Recaro headquarters in Schwäbisch Hall, Germany, a new logistics center opened, which is five times the size of the former area and is operated by a new SAP warehouse software to optimize material flow. The Schwäebisch Hall site also broke ground on its 19,000-square-meter Customer Service Center and new crash and flame labs, which are all slated for completion in mid-2021. In China, the Recaro plant opened its newly expanded production facility, which increases the maximum production capacity of the site to 60,000 seats per year.

In 2019, Recaro launched programs that allow customers to order predefined seats with significantly reduced lead times, even down to two months.

At last year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, Recaro presented the CL3710 long-range Economy Class seat with sleeping comfort features, the SL3710 short-haul Economy Class seat and the concept for an upgraded CL6710 Business Class seat with enhanced entertainment and privacy amenities. In October, Recaro partnered with TAP to install the “iSeat,” which is equipped with sensors to provide valuable insights on seat performance and generic behavior during flight.

For its distinct passenger living space and enhanced comfort, the sleeping comfort features of the CL3710 long-haul economy class seat won a Crystal Cabin Award in the Passenger Comfort Hardware category. The BL3710 short-haul economy class seat earned a Red Dot Award for the seat’s efficient structure, in tandem with the exceptional comfort. Recaro also celebrated another Crystal Cabin Award win, as its “connected seat” played a role in Airbus winning an award for its “Connected Cabin Concept.”

Sustainability at Recaro is a key focus, which has been celebrated by its American site winning The City of Fort Worth’s Environmental Excellence Award. In 2019 Recaro also introduced an environmental category to its own supplier awards program in order to recognize suppliers that strongly support the Recaro sustainability strategy, named Recaro Environmental Supplier Award.

In Germany, Recaro also won Best Managed Companies Award, which recognizes Germany’s top privately-owned businesses for exceptional management.

In an effort to further shape and promote positive culture at Recaro, two main initiatives were introduced in 2019. The ambassador program was launched, which handpicked brand advocates at each site to champion the company’s guiding principles and values through events, activities and everyday support. women4women was also founded, an initiative with a mission to empower women through awareness, networking, and mentorship.

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