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July 30, 2012  |   Comments (5)   |   Post a comment

New school bus seat, ownership shift at SynTec

By Thomas McMahon

SynTec’s new S3C school bus seat can be converted between belted and non-belted seating for passengers.

SynTec’s new S3C school bus seat can be converted between belted and non-belted seating for passengers.

HIGH POINT, N.C. — School bus seating supplier SynTec has a new product coming to market and a shift in ownership that officials said will provide more engineering and financial resources.

SynTec Seating Solutions’ new S3C school bus seat can be converted between belted and non-belted seating for passengers. The product is being displayed at industry trade shows, and it will be available on school buses starting this fall.

The S3C is the first product in SynTec’s new S3 family of seats. It has a common base and interchangeable backs, allowing for several seating options: non-belted, lap belts, lap-shoulder belts and integrated child seats.

Larry Bannon, vice president of new business development at SynTec, told SBF that the process of switching the seat backs takes only two minutes and involves six bolts and one torque.

In other news, SynTec is now fully owned by Takata, a global seat belt and air bag maker. Previously, SynTec was a joint venture between M2K LLC and Takata USA, with each owning 50% of the shares. Takata, whose U.S. headquarters is in Auburn Hills, Mich., recently acquired M2K’s 50% of the shares.

Bannon said that the ownership shift opens up more resources for the school bus seating supplier.

“Takata is a global company with over 35,000 employees, and their sales are about $4 billion a year,” Bannon said. “We will be able to leverage even more of their engineering expertise, plus financial strength, plus testing facilities.”

Takata also has offices in Greensboro, N.C., near SynTec’s High Point headquarters. (High Point is also home to Thomas Built Buses.)

In addition to Bannon, SynTec’s leadership team includes General Manager Tony Domabyl, OEM Sales and Marketing Manager Rick Smith and Director of Engineering John Baer.

Domabyl, Smith and Baer joined SynTec last year. The company also recently brought on Shane Wright as dealer account manager.

“Over the last 18 months, we’ve been making a conscious effort to strengthen the organization with a good, solid base of industry knowledge,” Bannon said. “Takata brings the technology when it comes to occupant protection and lap-shoulder belts. The school bus knowledge is what [SynTec’s] management brings.”

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Read more about: North Carolina, seat belts, seating

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We have 40 thomas school busses 07-13 just want to get price of seat if we wanted to convert over to S3C seats

Ron Martell    |    Apr 24, 2013 05:09 AM

Ron Martell Service maneger STA middlebury vt [email protected] We have 130 school busses and just trying to get a price and info on S3C seats we have 40 thomas busses from 07-13 just curious cost to go this rout. Thanks Ron

Ron Martell    |    Apr 24, 2013 05:06 AM

I drive a special needs bus equipped with a drivers seat which winds the shoulder belt into the seat back. I'm in and out of the bus many times loading and unloading wheelchairs. During inclement weather my rain slicker transfers lots of water onto the belt and inside the shoulder belt retractor. The belt smells and probably has mildewed. I dry it after runs and overnight by pulling it all the way out and draping it over the transmission gear selector. How are 72 sets of these self-storing student belts to be kept dry and sanitary when wet or sweaty children wear them on multiple runs every day?

Gary Coller    |    Aug 01, 2012 07:25 AM

If they put seat belts on buses for children then they need airbags also for the drivers. What makes you think children are going to use the belts?

Lisa    |    Jul 30, 2012 01:02 PM

It's about time! All our buses should have integrated child seats and shoulder lap belts. Parents your kids are not safe on a bus without seat belts!

Darlene Pulsifer    |    Jul 30, 2012 12:58 PM

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