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.”