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“In South-European countries, the use of cheap car seats is still more common than the spending in testwinner products”

Bettina Würstl, Managing Director, Kiddy

28/03/2012

Bettina y Jan Stefan Würstl are managing directors at Kiddy

Kiddy created the first baby car seat more than 30 years ago, when the company founder saw that there was not a safe enough product for his son. Currently, as Bettina Würstl, Managing Director, explains, Kiddy is still a family company, committed to maintaining its philosophy centered on the child's safety above other economic considerations.

Which are the major trends in car seats for babies?

Kiddy sees a clear trend towards the so-called travel systems. This means that usually you have a chassis, that you can connect either with an infant carrier or a carry cot, later when your baby is becoming a toddler you stick a seat unit on the chassis.

It is very practical for the mother. If she drives just quickly for shopping and the baby starts sleeping, she puts the infant carrier on the chassis and she does not have to wake up the baby. When she goes for a long walk it is more convenient for the baby to lay in the carry cot that also fits to the same chassis. It saves a lot of money and living space if you have only one chassis with three user friendly possibilities.

Furthermore the Kiddy R&D team focuses a lot on ease of use and comfort not only for the babies but also for the parents. That is why all our products are certified by an organization who takes care only of the health of your back. Kiddy is the only one who has got this certificate up till now.

Kiddy invented the car seat. How was this process?

The second son of my father-in-law was born in 1978 and there was an ongoing discussion about car seats and safety in public at that time. After analyzing the situation and the problems he decided to do his own product as there was nothing comparable and nothing really good at the market. And his Kiddy product won immediately the first end-consumer test in Germany.

Here you see how strong the motivation of young fathers can be to make the best for their children.

Are parents fully aware of the importance of a good car seat?

Most European and also American parents are trained very well by different public organizations, the law, the policemen and other very motivated specialists in this field for using car seats in general. Unfortunately there is especially in South-European countries still a trend to spend more money for example on branded clothes instead on an excellent car seat. The use of cheap seats is still more common than the spending in testwinner products. We see this clearly by observing the sales channels and the turnover of producers of cheap seats. You will not find in an discounter an expensive car seat that needs explanations and training by special sales people.

I myself put my own 2 children rather in cheap clothes than sitting them in crap seats. I have seen far too many crash videos. So I think there is still a big demand for more information towards end-consumers. These are products that need to be even safer than other juvenile items.

What are the most important factors when designing and manufacturing a car seat?

The first and important factor is the company vision and philosophy. Kiddy is a family owned company whose ethical values and principles are determined by my husband and me. We have decided for ourselves that our company is not determined to make the biggest profit.

In our opinion and that is our company vision, we are leaders of safety and innovation. Why? One reason is that we use the best material for the best safety of our seats. These materials are much more expensive than the normal polystyrol for example. But we spend it.

Another reason is that we have an own crash simulation department in-house like the big car manufacturers.

These are just two examples where kiddy spends more money than any other just according to our safety philosophy and compared to what maybe a big company owned by an anonymous financial investor would not do for profit reasons.

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