Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

Recaro renames its product range to R1-7 numbers… with R8 on the way? Runway Girl

By Vaseline May27,2024

HAMBURG – Farewell to the long-standing joke about whether a new Recaro seat model number matches that of your old Nokia phone – the German seat manufacturer is changing its entire range to a new set of ‘R number’ model names from the two-letter, four-digit product codes, such as CL3710, which has been used for years.

The new names, Recaro says, “reflect the different classes and complexities of the seating solutions,” ranging from R1 to R7, starting with the simplest economy and progressing to completely flat business mini-suites. They are:

  • R1: fixed backrest slimline SL3710 (short/medium distance, Economy class)
  • R2: reclining slim BL3710 (short/medium range, Economy class)
  • R3: fully equipped CL3810 (medium/long range, Economy class)
  • R4: armchair PL3810 (Premium class – typical widebody premium economy armchair)
  • R5: armchair CL4710 (Business class – typical narrowbody US domestic first/business class elsewhere armchair)
  • R7: suite CL6720 (completely flat Business class)

Runway Girl Network spoke with Dr. ahead of the announcement. Mark Hiller, CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating, who tells us that “the aim of the project is that we want to have a clear hierarchy between the product names, and also simpler. In addition, we want to make it more fun as a concept for the parties involved and also create a good and strong connection with our strong, strong brand.”

Hiller noted that one of the problems with two-letter, four-digit, six-character names is that the chair maker would build significant brand equity with a particular chair. CL3710 fully equipped economy seatfor example – only to see a setback in fame because it brought about a generational improvement (in this case, the CL3810).

The plan for that generational change still seems fluid, with Hiller suggesting the R number will remain the same, but perhaps with a temporary label around the year number or as the ‘new’ product.

“If you look at other industries, how are things going there?” Hiller muses. “On the one hand, for example, they use a year of publication. We could add: ‘new generation’, or ‘new’ or something like that. You could also see, for example, Airbus or Boeing, ‘neo’ or something similar. Of course we would only use it for the introduction, to give it a specific, I would say, focus, but in the long term we would stick with the existing name.”


Recaro also plans to discontinue the rest of its line, such as the CL6710 non-doored business class that debuted with TAP Air Portugal, as part of this product line move. Customized products that the company develops exclusively for airlines are not given an R number.

Be first fast, low customization, economical ship set program SPRINTwho uses the BL3530 slimline that does not receive an R number, Recaro will continue to use the two-letter, four-digit code for the time being.

“We won’t change the names there, and in the coming months and years they will more or less disappear,” Hiller says. “There we are using the (BL)3530 as a seat model for the time being, and we will not change the name there until we have more or less replaced the product for the SPRINT concept.”

This product will then move to the R2 platform, currently BL3710.

Hiller tells us that Recaro began working on renaming its product line in 2018-2019, but the project was then delayed by the pandemic. One thing Recaro will miss about the rather secretive two-letter, four-digit system, however, is that it served as a kind of shibboleth code to reveal expertise during conversations with CEOs to see if the boss really understood the details of the seat . Product.

“Every time even an airline CEO has remembered that and asked me about the CL3710, or said, ‘Oh, let’s talk about the BL and the SL 3710,’ and about the details – and they’ve been very clear about the numbers – I knew they were very much in the details and they were very much in the product,” says Hiller. “So assuming that R1 to R8 – or 7 – is easier to recognize and remember, it will be a little harder for me to figure out whether there is real interest in our product or not.”

View of Recaro's R7 seat in an aircraft cabin.

R7 is at the top of the Recaro product line… but is R8 on the way? Image: Recaro

Hiller’s correction of “R8 – or 7” was an interesting coda to our discussion. Could there be a new product at the top of the Recaro product tree that will be unveiled soon, perhaps even at this year’s AIX?

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Featured image credited to Recaro Aircraft Seating

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