The bankruptcy filing of global air bag maker Takata paves the way for obscure manufacturer Key Safety Systems to rise to power in the global automotive industry.
The Chinese-owned firm, whose U.S. headquarters are located in Sterling Heights, Mich., reached a deal to acquire Takata's main assets for $1.6 billion in a deal that must be authorized by a bankruptcy judge.
It will be Key Safety Systems' job to pick up the pieces following Takata's collapse. The company says it will maintain Takata's operations and employees in a deal that will make it the second largest air bag maker in the world, behind only Autoliv.
The deal will help Takata pay for the largest recall in U.S. history, covering more than 42 million vehicles. The company's air bags are prone to exploding, hurling fiery shrapnel into passengers. They have been blamed for at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide.
But who is Key Safety Systems? Here's what you need to know. The company:
- Was acquired last year by Chinese automotive conglomerate Ningbo Joyson Electronic for $920 million. The acquirer's three divisions are electronics and automation, automotive components and safety markets.
- Has 13,000 employees worldwide working at 32 plants and technical centers.
- Reported 2016 revenue of more than $1.8 billion.
- Is lead by CEO Jason Luo, who has been with the company for 19 years.
- Is now part of a growing venture. Ningbo Joyson Electronic has been on an acquisition spree. According to the China Business Daily, it has picked up assets including Preh GmbH, IMA Automation Amberg GmbH and Quin GmbH in Germany, and Evana Automation in the U.S.
Follow Detroit Free Press reporter Brent Snavely on Twitter @BrentSnavely.
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