JCI Acquiring Recaro

In announcing that it is acquiring the Kaiserslautern, Germany-based KEIPER, a supplier of seating systems and components, Johnson Controls (JCI) emphasized the engineering and manufacturing know-how of the company.

In announcing that it is acquiring the Kaiserslautern, Germany-based KEIPER, a supplier of seating systems and components, Johnson Controls (JCI) emphasized the engineering and manufacturing know-how of the company. As in Beda Bolzenius, vp Johnson Controls, and president, Automotive Experience, saying, “This acquisition further strengthens our metal components and mechanisms business. . .”

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KEIPER rear seat structure

but he went on to say what most people will really think this is all about: “. . .through the addition of the KEIPER and Recaro brands which are synonymous with quality, technical expertise and innovation.”

Yes, JCI is getting Recaro. Well, at least the Recaro automotive sport and specialty seat portfolio. Which for all practical purposes means it is getting Recaro.

A couple of points.

One is that while the trend toward outsourcing continues at many companies, JCI is vertically integrating. There is something to be said about having a breadth of control throughout the product development and production arena.

Second, although Recaro is undoubtedly the sexy part of the business, the metal structures—recliners, latches, adjustment mechanisms, etc.—that KEIPER has expertise in is truly a volume play, undoubtedly more important from a revenue point of view than the Recaro seats.

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Recaro seats in Honda CR-Z Hybrid R Concept at SEMA 2010

Still. . . .