40 Years Reiger: ‘Grown on feelings’

Gerard Seesing isn’t always up for a party. He rather just works. But the 40th anniversary of Reiger Suspension is not something he can just ignore. “It’s also a nice moment”, he admits. “If you see where we came from, it’s something to be proud of.”

It began in 1977, in a corner of Gerard Seesing parents’ chicken barn- quite a contrast with the current company in Hengelo. Seesing himself had built a dirtbike from a jumble of parts of the demolition, but it went no nut. “Until I made my own shock absorbers,” says Seesing. “and drove Keen van de Ven beyond. I had no idea who Kees van de Ven was, but it did happen. Everybody wanted to know where I got those green shock absorbers. The only reason they were green was beacause my father had a green Opel Cadet at that time and had a can of paint in that color. “

Dirtbike shortened

Not much later, Seesing bought a new dirtbike, a Suzuki. “I did not get ahead. It made me thinking: What should I have to change for better driving? I sew the thing in half, shortened it five centimeters and I changed the ball corner. My father was furious: “Do you think you know better than those Japanese?” Well, I won the next four matches. Then I edited and modified a lot of Suzuki’s for other people. Nowadays they are a centimeter shorter, so I did not see that wrong. “

Seesing does everything on feeling and on common sense. Reiger grew up with that. “My motivation has always been to make things better. We do that by listening to our customers and testing things out. I want to understand what a driver feels. If I get that, I can make it better. We get happy from happy drivers. “

Colin McRae

Seesing did not work with the least people. Colin McRae, Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen – just to name a few. “McRae thought he had the best of the best. I sat next to him in his car and built a new set of dampers for him the same evening. The next day we tested them and I asked, “What do you think?” He has never used anything else. Gradually we gained the trust of the greatest in the sports, simply by listening well and thinking. That’s how we grew up. “

Leading brand

Reiger is now the leading brand in off-road car and motorsport. “And we grow by 10 percent each year,” says Seesing. “Also in other branches. This year we deliver fifty cars to the Dutch Defense. I am very proud that we get the trust from that corner too. “

Seesing doesn’t think that much about the future. He rather focuses on the here and now, with the development of new services and products, such as steering houses, hydro jacks and airplane shock absorbers. “You don’t know what the future brings. The questions and needs of the market are changing ever and it is up to us to come up with new solutions, so we’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing for the last fourty years.”

Anniversary

The 40th anniversary of Reiger and the opening of the new business hall was celebrated on Friday March 31th and Saturday April 1st. During the open day, there were a total of around 2000 visitors and everyone was lovingly enthusiastic.