Recaro seat goes to Delta

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: October 4, 2013 2:44 pm ET
Updated: October 4, 2013 2:50 pm ET

Recaro seat goes to Delta

Image By: Plastics News photo by Catherine Kavanaugh Recaro President John Riedl, left and Delta CEO Barry Kempa

Related to this story

Topics Automotive parts, Consumer Products

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. — Recaro Child Safety LLC President John Riedl didn't have to look far to find an injection molder to make the largest component for an infant car seat that will be assembled at its facility 35 miles north of Detroit.

The polypropylene shell of the Guardia — Recaro's next product — and 13 other smaller, mostly nylon and acetal parts will be made two doors away in Auburn Hills at Delta Engineered Plastics LLC.

Recaro awarded a multiyear parts production contract to Delta, which supplies injection molded parts to a variety of transportation and industrial customers. The deal could be worth about $5 million to Delta if infant car sear sales hit 200,000 units as expected.

"Recaro could have sourced this business to any company in the world but they chose Michigan," said Barry Kempa, Delta's chief operating officer. "This certainly is a testimonial to the renaissance occurring in American manufacturing and it's great to be part of that renaissance."

Recaro is taking more than baby steps to bring back business from overseas; it is making great strides in reaching out to U.S. suppliers, particularly those in hard-hit Michigan, which is still shrugging off the Great Recession.

"A year ago we bought 60 percent of our plastic and metal components from overseas. By the end of 2014 that will be about 70 percent U.S.," Riedl said, adding that domestic trim and fabric remains cost prohibitive because of Recaro's volume.

Riedl and Kempa gathered Oct. 3 with their staffs at Recaro for a luncheon sourcing celebration. Their workforces will grow before the Guardia hits national stores and online outlets in the spring for about $250. Delta will add 10-15 more employees to the 225 it has and Recaro at least 20.

Riedl is a big believer that supplier proximity will pay off in the long run for Recaro, which reshored production of half the plastic parts for its child booster seat back to the United States in 2013 and plans to source the other half in a year.

While Asia offers cheaper labor, Riedl sees plenty of other advantages for dealing domestically. The company will save on travel time and expenses, get products to market sooner, and communicate more in person or by phone than email.

"It makes sense if I don't have to send five engineers to China four times a year, if I know the quality is good every time because I can drive and measure the wall thickness. And if there's a problem, I find out about it that day and not after we shipped product," Riedl said. "And if I can release a new product nine months earlier because we can do it faster here, that's nine months of sales and profits that I would have lost if I made it in China.

"I have a philosophy that the end-to-end cost is actually less expensive here for our business bottom line even though the unit cost is slightly higher."

Recaro has seen its sales triple in two years to $13 million, Riedl said. Sales are projected to grow to $20 million in 2014, he added.

The Guardia fills a niche in the product line of the company that got its start making car seats for Porsche. With the introduction of an infant seat that can be used to carry a baby home from the hospital, Recaro will offer safety seats for all ages and stages of childhood.

Riedl said the infant seat will bring a couple new features to the market, including a padded harness system that won't twist, making it easier to buckle in babies, and an adjustable base for secure fits in any kind of vehicle. Delta is making the base.

"It doesn't inspire confidence when you pay all this money for technology and have to put a towel under the seat," Riedl said. "We developed a double-adjust base. You gain 11 degrees of adjustability."

Delta will use 170-ton to 1,450-ton machines to manufacture 14 parts that range in weight from an ounce to 2½ pounds. The company's molding process also will allow it to make changes and improvements for other features that are on the drawing board for the second-generation Guardia.

Kempa likes Recaro's forward thinking.

"We're looking for good companies, well-managed companies, focused companies that are going to be leaders and grow their business," he said.

Recaro plans to promote its domestic partnerships with Guardia and other products.

"We can't say 'made in the USA' because the trim cover is part of it, but we will tell people over 70 percent of the content is U.S. content," Riedl said. "I think the American consumer will say they're making a significant effort to keep manufacturing here as best they can."


Comments

Recaro seat goes to Delta

By Catherine Kavanaugh
Staff Reporter

Published: October 4, 2013 2:44 pm ET
Updated: October 4, 2013 2:50 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Plastics News Now: Polystyrene helps spur honey production

December 18, 2014 6:00 am ET

Bee farmers are crediting polystyrene with an increase in honey production, plastic toymakers lament shipping delays and plastic bag ban backers are...    More

Image

Bubbles add some flair to 'Plain Jane' PET bottles

December 17, 2014 1:05 pm ET

Ron Puvak and the folks over at Plastic Technologies Inc. see big things coming from some very tiny bubbles.    More

Image

Shipping slowdowns add to season's stress

December 16, 2014 4:02 pm ET

Toy companies know what they want for Christmas: an end to crippling shipping delays at West Coast ports.    More

Image

Material Insights: DuPont selling iconic material

December 15, 2014 11:53 am ET

An Israeli compounder is opening a plant in the United States, a compounder buys plants, a PPS resin maker is cutting production because of financial ...    More

Izo-Blok opens Polish car part plant

December 15, 2014 9:16 am ET

Poland's plastic car parts maker Izo-Blok has launched its new production facility in Chorzˇw, in Poland's southern region of Silesia.    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events