Airbag supplier Takata disappears, CEO resigns
The Japanese airbag supplier Takata has announced that the transfer of its principal activities to the American supplier Key Safety Systems has been realized and that the brand Takata is going to disappear.
Meanwhile the CEO, Shigehisa Takada, the heir from the Takada founding family, has officially resigned from his duties, as promised in June 2017 when bankruptcy was announced. The announcement then provoked a real shock wave through industrial Japan.
“Once again we offer our most sincere apologies to our clients, partners, shareholders and all that have suffered under the problems caused by our deficient airbags”, Takada stated in a last public message. It’s the end of what can be considered one of the biggest scandals in automotive history.
Takada is replaced by Yoichiro Nomura, who will be responsible to solve the last problems, to deal with the remaining complaints and deliver the last replacing airbags to duped clients.
Joyson Safety Systems
The American supplier KSS is based in the US but owned by Chinese Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp. and has taken over all assets of Takata, except those directly linked to the deficient airbags, for 1,6 billion dollar (1,3 billion euro).
A new company is thus formed, named Joyson Safety Systems, KSS has announced. The yearly turnover of the new company is estimated at 7 billion dollar and it will employ some 50.000 people all over the world.
Rise and fall of a giant
Takata was founded in 1933 by Takezo Takada, grandfather of Shigehisa. Meanwhile the supplier had become one of the biggest in the world regarding airbags and safety belt systems. The crisis that caused its demise today started in 2014 and forced many car manufacturers to recall a total of 100 million cars worldwide.
Takata is accused of having hidden possible failures in its products for years and is held responsible for some 20 fatal injuries and hundreds of wounded people because of that.
At the moment of its bankruptcy, leaving a debt of more than 1.000 billion yen (7,6 billion euro), Takata employed 46.000 people worldwide in 56 factories in 20 different countries. It had a yearly turnover of 663 billion yen in 2016/2017 (5 billion euro) of which 90% were realized outside Japan.