Left side: Gordon Benson: KONI Ride Development Engineer. Driving the car is Chris Runge- Owner/ builder Runge Cars
The automotive industry is a beehive of mass production, cost pressures and Six Sigma practices. In this "do it fast and for less" environment, where worker and robot motions are studied with a microscope, there might seem to be little room for emotions.
ITT's KONI shock absorber business is proving that premise wrong. By hiring people who care deeply about cars on a personal and professional level, KONI is attracting like-minded partners who also consider themselves auto enthusiasts.
Sure, our KONI team makes huge quantities of high-quality shocks for the world's largest car manufacturers. But KONI also provides shocks and parts to professional F1 racers, NASCAR drivers, Sports Car Club of America members – and now to Runge Cars, which builds handcrafted vehicles custom designed to match their owners' exacting specifications.
The Runge relationship developed because this KONI customer sensed it had found a shock designer that understood its commitment to building one-of-a-kind cars. "KONI is full of people who are passionate about cars," says Chris Runge, who started his business back in 2011 in a Minnesota barn. "They do what they say they are going to do, and it's hard to find a big corporation that does that. They've maintained their personal touch. That really spoke to me."
Chris Runge also knew KONI's engineering expertise would help "dial in the ride" and provide the right fit for his company's hand-built, driveable, custom works of art. This is nothing new for this ITT brand. KONI has a long history of creating singular shocks that adapt to changing road conditions and unique driving styles.
"It doesn't matter if it's a mass-produced car or something built from the ground up, like Runge Cars,"
says Allen Briere, Automotive and Heavy Duty Sales at KONI. "KONI shocks can adapt and work."
See how KONI performance shock absorbers are proven on the race track
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