For 40 years, seats for young players have been the focus here
Concord is 40 years old: the company, which once had its headquarters in stadtsteinach, is now part of the jane group in barcelona. For a long time, concord has been producing not only child seats, but also cars and accessories.
Exactly 40 years ago, the head of the storchenmuhle company – heinz-joachim kauffmann – founded the concord company. It was originally based in gefrees and was to focus mainly on building child seats. It was not until later that concord set up its headquarters in the stadtsteinach industrial area.
"The seats were completely different back then, recalls barbara wohlfahrt, the assistant to the management, and shows a blue seat made of imitation leather in the exhibition. It was simply anchored to the back seat – the isofix fastening system, side impact protection and other features were not yet known at that time.
But even model number two focused on comfort for the little ones: the seats were softly upholstered. For many years, colorful designs and animal cushions were the hallmarks of concord seats. In the meantime the demands of the customers have changed. Seats should adapt to the interior of the car.
Today, the focus when buying car seats is on the i-size standard, explains thore noll, international sales manager at jane. I-size stands for sixfold safety. The seats are fastened in the car with isofix. They take into account the size of the children, no longer the weight. "The rear-facing seats are safer", says noll and shows the latest generation seating system.
Not only babies drive against the direction of travel, but also toddlers. "This backward driving is simply safer because it minimizes the risk of crushing the neck vertebrae in an accident", says noll. And to ensure that this safety is actually maintained in practice, even on short distances, concord’s seats can no longer be rotated. "The most secure system is of no use if it is used incorrectly", so noll. The seats are tested in the company’s own safety laboratory. "That’s certainly an advantage over other manufacturers." Noll recommends that children up to four years old should drive backwards.
"In the latest generation of seats, design and safety are harmonized with each other. The seats must match the design of the cars. We couldn’t inspire consumers with animal pillows anymore," recalls, female noll. In the future, the company would like to focus on the production of car seats as well.
But increasingly important for concord is also the sale of accessories. Concord has also set itself the goal of placing jane strollers in germany as well. "But it is not so easy. In germany, heavy, coarse baby carriages are still in vogue; in other countries, the carriages are smaller. They are collapsible", so noll.
15 people are currently still working at the former company headquarters in stadtsteinach. "We have the customer service here, the back office and all repairs end up in stadtsteinach", says barbara wohlfahrt. There is also a factory sale.