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Britax

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Britax
Child Safety Seat Manufacturer

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Official Site: Britax.com
Wikipedia: Britax

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A manufacturer of child safety seats founded in 1938.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Britax page on 9 May 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Britax is a global manufacturer of childcare products including car seats, strollers, and high chairs.

It began making automotive safety equipment and accessories in 1938, and to import car and motorcycle accessories. During the 1970s, Britax began making childcare safety products, primarily child safety seats and strollers.

Excelsior Motor Company

Excelsior Motor Company, a former motorcycle company, bought Britax Group for £880,000 in March 1963. It diversified into aircraft interiors and seating, car mirrors and car seating. Its main competitor in the 1960s was Irvin Air Chute, which had been Britain's main manufacturer and designer of parachutes.

In 1960, the BSI introduced a kite-mark BS 3254 for car seats, and Britax was one of the first to comply to the standard. In 1960, one of their seatbelts saved Donald Campbell when he crashed at 400 mph. Its belts were made from Terylene (now known as PET) made by ICI. Also in 1960 it bought the Cyclemaster motorcycle company in Byfleet.

In June 1963, it introduced a new type of seat belt that allowed the belt to move but locked in rapid deceleration, as all belts are now today, known as inertia reel, and which it called an 'automatic belt'. In the mid-1960s, Britax was based on Chertsey Road in Byfleet. In June 1966, the parent company, Excelsior Motor, bought Notek, a car light manufacturer.

Britax-Excelsior

In January 1968, due to the prominence of the Britax brand, the parent company became known as Britax-Excelsior. At this time, its main competitor was Kangol Magnet, although Britax had over 80% of the UK market. From July 1968, all new cars were required to have front passenger seat belts fitted. However, their usage was not legally required until 1983.

In January 1970, it bought Hans Kolb of Munich, Germany. The chairman was Oscar Proctor. In December 1971, it was bought by Griffiths Bentley of Staffordshire for £4.27m. Stephen Proctor became managing director of Griffiths Bentley.

BSG International

Griffiths Bentley was bought by the Bristol Street Group to become BSG International. In February 1978, this company bought Weathershields, a Birmingham sunroof manufacturer. On 3 December 1982, the Duke of Edinburgh visited Britax's factory in Chichester. The Britax brand also applied to sun-roofs. In March 1995, LA Rumbold the Surrey-based aircraft interiors company owned by BSG International, won a contract to manufacture all toilet modules for Boeing 737s.

Britax International

It was known as BSG International until May 1997, becoming Britax International. The chief executive was Richard Marton from the 1990s until November 2000, replaced by Bernard Brogan. In May 1996, it set up a joint venture with Koito Industries to make car lights for the European car market. In the late 1990s it was world leader in car safety seats and aircraft interiors.

It bought Buderus Sell, a German aircraft seat manufacturer in June 1997 for £73m. In June 1998 it bought Public Safety Equipment of America, which made fire engine sirens, for £75m. Later in August 1998, it sold its Autolease vehicle leasing company to Standard Chartered for £83m. In April 2000, it bought Bellingham, an American aircraft interiors company, from Hexcel for £73m. It sold its car mirrors division to Reitter & Schefenacker of Germany for £200m.

Britax patents

Britax is the patent holder for over 180 United States granted patents.

The Isofix (known as LATCH in the US) system was developed jointly by child safety seat maker Britax-Römer and automobile maker Volkswagen, with the first compatible products released in 1997. However at the US DOT's request, Britax filed a series of "Terminal Disclaimers" to waive all its ISOFIX patent rights and dedicate the patents to the public good, so the US LATCH regulations could be established in 1998.

Management buyout

In July 2001, it underwent a £441m management buyout. In September 2005, Britax International sold its Britax Childcare division for £230m to Carlyle Group, a private equity company. In November 2010, Carlyle sold Britax Childcare, to Nordic Capital, for a reported £450m (€526.3m).

BOB Gear

In 2011, Britax acquired BOB Gear, a brand of jogging strollers and accessories geared towards active lifestyle parents.


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
2 January 2002NHTSA Announces Safety Recall Of Britax Child Safety RestraintsNHTSA
21 October 2003Britax to Conduct Safety Recall of Super Elite Youth RestraintsNHTSA
22 October 2007Consumer Alert: NHTSA Announces ‘Marathon’ Child Safety Seat Recall from BritaxNHTSA
8 January 2009Britax Recalls 31,392 Child Restraints SystemsNHTSA
8 July 2011Britax Marathon Car SeatLauren Dzuris
8 July 2011Britax Marathon Convertible Car Seat ReviewLauren Dzuris
8 July 2011Britax Regent YouthLauren Dzuris
27 January 2012Consumer Advisory: Britax Recalling 14,220 Child Safety Seats for Safety Harness Straps That Will Not Properly Restrain ChildNHTSA
21 January 2016NHTSA, CPSC and Britax announce recall of infant car seats due to fall hazard NHTSA


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