The choice of leading global automotive companies Britax Römer and Turkey’s choice Itameks are having a successful partnership for almost 20 years.
We made an interview with Rainer Stäbler, Managing Director of Britax Römer, about their production criteria and principles. İsmail Yalçın DELEMEN, CEO of successfully growing Turkish company Itameks, which is serving to global markets; also made a brief about the companies’ latest operations. These interviews are key to find out the secrets of successful production.
Managing Director of Britax Römer Rainer Stäbler;
What is the short description of your company?
In Britax Childcare we have been inventing, developing, manufacturing and selling baby and kid products. We have business in USA, Asia and EMA (Europe- Middle East- Africa) We are developing and also producing most of our goods in Europe. It’s question of prize, quality and safetiness. It is also question of environmental and chemical free because we are talking about infants and kids, so that’s very important for us. 80 percent of our car seats are being developed in Germany and in UK; we are producing in Europe for Europe.
Being safety and healthy is very important for the baby and kid products. What are your criteria for your products? What do you implement to your products for maximizing safety?
I need to give some brief information about our company. It’s founded in 1938 and since that time we are really dedicated to safetiness for infants and for children. We are spending a lot of many in R&D so we are searching for development and we are testing a lot. For us components are very important. To make the travelling for kids as safe as possible and comfortable. For example the car seat here; Britax Römer has invented and developed with Volkswagen at the very early stage of the ISOFix system we also invented a lot of technologies to make the seats safer. And also our history is a life history in Germany where you see the products how they developed from the beginning until now. The seats you see here are really high tech products. So that; in a crash situation they react extremely safe for the kids and for the babies. For us number one is safetiness. Making the seats safer and safer and safer that’s the business all our ingenious working everyday on… The second part we are working on and we are making just a big move; making the seats more chemical environmental free. So we have just made a big decision about sourcing most of our fabrics for our car seats in Europe. Most of our competitors are sourcing the textile in China or in Asia. We are now bringing everything back Until the beginning of next year everything will be produced in Europe. Because for us it’s important to understand that whole supply chain and we can assure that everything is chemical free. The kid and the baby is sitting on the textile for that reason the seat has to be chemical free. That’s one thing that we also work on.
So it’s safetiness, it’s also chemical free, healthiness for sure; the other part is; it has to be easy to use. It’s always a problem that the seat is not be misused. We need to fulfill a lot of futures that a mother can use it very easy and for sure we also have a nice car seat so the design is also important. Especially for strollers design is very important.
For Britax Römer; healthiness, being safe, practicality and also design are very important factors.
Researches show that in every 3 minutes a baby dies in traffic accidents. These results underline the importance and necessity of the baby car seat. How can you evaluate the usage of baby car seat around the world; as a company remarks this subject with social responsibility projects? What else can be done for the people to be informed about the delicacy of the matter?
We are dealing this in the countries where we are working and also in other countries that we are not in at the moment. We are supporting conferences, trainings with automotive clubs, governments, ministries of transportation, for more than last 15-20 years that we really try to explain everybody and also countries we are just preparing a new conference for Middle East to explain them how important the seats are… But even in the highly developed countries like Germany we have to explain mothers how important the baby car seat is; not only having an infant barrier also having a car seat when the kids are 3,4,5,6,7,8, or 10 years old. You see the big difference when the baby is sitting in car on outer seats or in a booster (it is something makes child sit just a little bit higher) instead of car seat and we are showing them what the big difference is when an accident happens. That could really save a lot of lives. Explaining and training governments about the importance of a car seat. We are doing it all over the world.
I read that when accident happens no one can control muscles during that period. It means if you’re holding a baby; you cannot hold it anymore.
Yes that’s for sure and everything in a car made for adults. Body of an infant and child is completely different. For an adult had is approximately 6 to 7 percent of whole body. For an infant it’s 30 percent. The head is much bigger but the neck is very weak, so you have to take care about that part and also abdomen and the chest is very important.
Most of your products has a long period of usage. How can it be possible to use same product for a 12 years old kid as well as a 9 months old baby?
We have different categories of products. We have products which are fitting very well to a certain time. So we usually start to use an infant carrier. Starts from birth until 12 months or something like that. That is the safest way for an infant to travel because its rearward faced. We have some countries like in the Nordics they keep the kids up to four years rearward faced because it’s the safest way to travel. We also have that seats in our program. But it’s not so common in South of Europe for example. In south or Europe they want to change the kid as soon as possible. But if you really take care about the safetiness then you should keep your kid rearward faced as long as possible. Cause it’s much better protected. For that reason in our program we have seats you can use quite long. At first you need to start with rearward faced then when the kid is getting longer and bigger you can turn the seat around and put your kid front faced. That is a seat which you can use from 6 months- 9 months up to four years. And later the seat is growing a little beat. We have seats you can use from 1 or 2 years up to 12 years. The seat is growing with your kid. But if you ask me I would really recommend an infant carrier, then a group 1 seat. Because from 1 year up to 4 years kid is growing very fast and group 1 seat fits perfect to your needs. Later you can go for a seat for group 2 and 3 together which is from 4 years up to 12 years. That is the safest way you can do. We also have seats which is group 1-2-3 tree in one. The seat is the grooving with you. But you also keep in mind as a mother, you need the modify car seat to the grooving child regularly. Misusage of the carrier, if parents forget to modify the seat, it can be unhealthy for the kid.
How can you describe your trademark?
I would say Britax Römer is the high quality brand in the world. if you ask my self I would say we have the safest and the best car seats in the world and we have proven that since a very long time. We have always been the leader of development. I think there’s one part which is very important is that we are close to the car companies. All the car companies making crash testes including a baby seat. More that 80 percent of car companies are using Britax Römer seats for tests. That’s also something which is telling us that we have the safest seats. I can show you the logos of the car companies that we work together; we have Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen, Fiat, Ford, etc.. For example at the moment we are developing a new car seat with Mercedes; for their crash tests. 2014 Euro NCap made 40 crash tests at least 85 percent of the cars tested was with one of our seats. I would say that; the car industry would not use Britax Römer seats if we would not have the safest seats in the world.
Can you tell us about the awards that your company won?
We won a lot of awards in 2015 up to now; 8 of the top 10 car seats awarded in USA are from Britax. We have the test winner strollers the best stroller is coming from Britax. We have the test winner in the category of the Group 2- 3 seats (4 to 12 years) in 2015. We had two different seats in “Stiftung Warentest” this year and both of them tested good. In our history most of our seat got an excellent test results. We have one of the safest infant carriers in the world. “Stiftung Warentest” test is picking a few seats every year they only pick two or three seats from one company and testing them. Last year we also had very good test results. If you buy a car seat from Volvo, Mercedes or Porsche it is Britax Römer car seat. We are producing for them and branding them as Mercedes, Porsche or Volvo…
What do you think about your partnership with İtameks in Turkey?
It’s a very good partnership running since almost 20 years so; if a partnership is going for such a longtime it’s a success story for both sides. Otherwise you won’t have a long partnership. Because for us Turkey is a very important country. It’s a young country, it’s a developing country, there are a lot of kids in Turkey and I think we can do together a lot for improving security and safetiness for the families. Because we really take care about the little ones.
Thank you very much for the valuable information that you shared with our readers.
A successfully growing Turkish company which is serving to global markets; İtameks! CEO of Itameks İsmail Yalçın DELEMEN made a brief about company’s latest projects for our readers;
Could you share the establishment story of Itameks, which has a 30-year history? What are the philosophy and principles of your company?
“Itameks founded to manufacture automotive parts in 1982. Over time we added new product groups with three different distribution channels by performing different operations and organizations. As group, we directly make production for main centers and production line of automotive firms with their brand. We are moving forward with engineering production infrastructure completely. We’re currently producing and sending mats for 11 global automobile brands. The studies of İTAMEKS concerning baby and kid products started in 1996 with the mark of Römer continued with the investment decision in child devices sector in 2007 and the mark of Koala that was created as a result of this decision. The mark of Koala is becoming the leader of the market in the field of child safety products in national and local market. We represent a US brand; 4 Moms in Turkey. Since we are a global initiator with our powerful marks of Pufi, Römer and Koala and our product groups in main automotive companies and since we are working in a quality and customer oriented manner, these facts will successfully improve our position of Global player. With the synergy of these three brands, we have a share of 25% of the child car seat market, that is to say we are leading in the industry. We also have a manufacturing operation for automotive aftermarket and accessories in the industry for leading brands and we have been serving our customers in traditional markets.”
As you know, in ‘Consumer Award’ content which German Kind & Jugend fair organizes in partnership with our magazine, your Koala car seat took first place in the category of by the votes of parents. How do you evaluate this success?
“We know Koala is a good brand in the balance of the price and quality. The result is great for us. We also have a brand from Römer in the sort of the content. We think that Koala’s price is more affordable to the Turkish people. It is very pleased for us to have two of the first three products. We will continue our success with this motivation. Thank you everyone who contributed to carry out this beautiful work.”
İnterview: Gökçe Pazarlıklı