27 August 2010
Britax is an English based, American owned company which specialises predominantly in car seats for babies and young children, and other wheeled items like buggies and pushchairs. Britax Childcare is a hugely successful company which finds itself in its dominant place in the market thanks to astute business dealing and an extraordinary commitment to its customers.
The company’s known as Britax in the UK and America, but also goes under the trading names Safe ‘n’ Sound and Steelcraft in other English speaking parts of the world. Britax distributes its products through hand selected specialist retailers (like us here at Olivers!) to make sure that its reputation is protected and its high standards are upheld.
Its reputation is built on the development of highly innovative, extremely practical products which are constructed from the highest quality materials available and subject to rigourous (and we do mean rigourous) testing procedures.
The Britax Empire
Britax Childcare was originally part of a 50 year old British specialist manufacturing company – a company which made products as diverse as lights for emergency vehicles, but now specialises in aeroplane interiors. But to allow this company to focus on its international specialist manufacturing projects, Britax Childcare was sold to the America-based Carlyle group in September 2005, for a staggering £230 million.
This colossal sum of money testifies to the faith the Carlyle group have in this company. The Carlyle group is famous for its savvy trading and exceptional wealth. It’s a private equity firm which manages over $81 billion dollars of equity capital, and as such can offer Britax Childcare significant financial support.
Britax has had a long history of talented, experienced management. Up until 2006, Britax was run by an Englishman by the name of Andrew Stafford. This man is now the Chief Executive and Deputy Master of the Royal Mint, a high profile job which would only be given to the best possible person.
Commitment to Safety
Britax’s commitment to the child safety is legendary. On August 19th, 2004, Britax announced the recall of a colossal 355,516 of their child car seats due to a harness which had the potential to loosen slightly. The defect was discovered by Britax themselves as part of their comprehensive ongoing quality assurance tests, and the recall was entirely voluntary. In fact, the seats which were recalled had already passed the American safety tests with flying colours, and the agency which conducts these tests was supremely impressed with Britax’s unwillingness to risk the safety of its users, and it confirmed to the industry that Britax were the most profoundly dedicated company out there. On top of this, Britax also sent out kits with tools and full, detailed instructions to owners of the seats so that they could fix the problem themselves rather than be without the seats for any period of time while they were repaired.
First Class Travel for Kids
Britax produce everything from simple, economical, comfortable booster seats for toddlers, to the top-of-the-range Traveller Plus, a seat designed for large children or children with special needs. All Britax’s products tend to be styled with sophistication, with subtle dark colours and luxurious materials. They look functional, but have a sense of individuality about them, in the way that only the best designed, most modern products have. The car seats actually resemble sporty bucket seats; and in many cases look more comfortable than the adult seats.
Britax car seats and pushchairs are designed to be intuitive to use; as quick and simple as possible.
Britax invests heavily in the research and development before designing its products. It uses crash simulators, just as car manufacturers do, to make sure their products offer as much protection in the event of an accident as possible. Britax car seats have been constructed to contain as much energy as possible during an accident, using specifically padded wings around the child’s head to protect in side-impacts, while the straps are strategically positioned to hold the child firmly, but comfortably, in place, reducing the risk of injury as much as possible.
Britax’s ‘Safe Strap’ is a system which is designed to prevent a child being flung forward in an accident. It uses a simple visual indicator to denote whether or not the straps are tight enough (or too tight), and uses a child-friendly smiley face design, so they can be involved in the process too.
Awards & Accolades
Britax is the proud recipient of many, many industry awards for its safety and value. There are too many to list here, but the awards come from parenting bodies and industry experts, such as the Practical Parenting Best Buy award, the Mother & Baby Best Buy and the Best Value Award, and so many more.