Chinese-Owned KSS (Key Safety Systems) take over Takata (airbag maker)

Key Safety Systems (KSS) is a company that develops and manufactures automotive safety systems. The safety systems are installed in hundreds of vehicle models. The company headquarters is in Sterling Heights, Michigan, in the United States. Globally, the company has 13,000 employees who work in 32 plants and technical centers worldwide. The company’s 2016 annual revenue was $1.8 billion. The current KSS CEO and president is Jason Luo. He has held the positions of president, member of the board, and CEO, since March 2007. Luo has taken the offer as CEO of Ford China. The new job allows Luo, a Chinese-born engineer who has lived in the United States for three decades, to return to Shanghai to be near his aging parents.

The company is owned by Ningbo Joyson Electronic, described as a “Chinese automotive conglomerate” that acquired Key Safety Systems in 2016 for $920 million. The combined sales of both companies are more than $3 billion. Ningbo Joyson Electronic competed against other large companies in the industry including Autoliv to acquire KSS.

Takata Corporation, an airbag manufacturer, has filed for bankruptcy in the United States and Japan due to lawsuits and large product recalls for unsafe airbags (with faulty airbag inflators) which the company sold to major automotive manufacturers. Key Safety Systems will acquire the remaining Takata assets for about $1.6 billion pending approval of bankruptcy judges.

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