Germany's Recaro GmbH has licensed global seat maker Johnson Controls Inc. to develop Recaro seats as a brand name in the USA.
The joint venture, Recaro Johnson Controls llc, will try to sell North America on the idea of paying a premium for a seat with a brand name.
Recaro is widely recognized in Europe and Japan for its firm, supportive seats used in race cars and sports cars.
But the company has also begun to promote the orthopedic benefits of its seats.
This strategy, applied to the USA, could capitalize on the large numbers of aging baby boomers beginning to be afflicted with sore backs.
By joining up with a major US seat maker, Recaro gets a chance to associate its name quickly to the North American vehicles now supplied by Johnson Controls.
In return, Johnson Controls will be able to offer a premium seat without having to create a separate line of its own.
Lear Corp., Johnson Controls' chief rival, has a premium seat division in Europe, but the seats do not carry a separate name.