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Katzkin Classes Up Mopar and More

A sexy alternative to factory leather.

by on Feb.17, 2012

Katzkin Chief Designer Dave O'Connell's sketch for a customized Fiat 500 interior.

When the limited-edition Mopar 12 300 sedan rolls into showrooms later this year it will notably not feature the standard leather interior found on the Chrysler 300S 4-door it’s based on.  Instead, the customized Chrysler sedan will use a striking and unique interior specifically designed for it by Katzkin Leather Inc.

Founded in 1983 by the eponymous team of Mitch and Lesley Katz, the fast-growing firm initially provided leather seats and surfaces for use in custom cars and in the concept vehicles popular at auto shows.  But more recently, the firm has upgraded its line-up, partnering with both individual dealers and even some original equipment makers, like Chrysler, to offer a range of custom interiors direct to consumers.


Katzkin has even hired a design director, Dave O’Connell, who used to work with makers Mitsubishi and Peugeot, to help jazz things up with custom designs that might appeal to those who want something more distinctive than the usual factory offerings.

“We’ve had a very strong partnership with Katzin for a number of years,” said Jim Sassorossi, director of product development at Chrysler’s in-house service and aftermarket unit, Mopar.  “The quality of their product is just fantastic.


Johnson Controls Buys Recaro

Recaro best known for performance seating.

by on Dec.31, 2010

A pair of Recaro seats.

Johnson Controls Inc., one of the world’s top automotive suppliers, has swooped in to acquire one of the top names in automobile seating – Recaro.

JCI has signed a purchase agreement to acquire the German automotive  supplier Keiper and the Recaro-brand specialty seat business. Financial details regarding the transaction were not disclosed.

“This acquisition further strengthens our metal components and mechanisms business through the addition of the Keiper and Recaro brands which are synonymous with quality, technical expertise and innovation,” said Beda Bolzenius, Vice President, Johnson Controls and President, Automotive Experience. ”

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“It provides leading technologies that we can leverage across our current seat component portfolio, and expand in China and North America,” he said.

Keiper, based in Kaiserslautern, Germany, is a leader in recliner system technology and is renowned for its engineering and manufacturing expertise in metal components and mechanisms. The acquisition will include approximately 4,750 employees globally in seven countries.