Launch Cipher

Takata – What's left after the crash?

25th July 2017 | Leave a comment

On 26 June, Takata filed for bankruptcy in Japan and the US and announced the sale of substantially all of its assets to Key Safety Systems (KSS) for US$1.6bn, with closing scheduled for Q1 2018. The events leading to the bankruptcy are well documented. By 2019 it is projected that 125 million vehicles will have been recalled due to defective airbags and in the bankruptcy filings it is estimated that its liability could exceed US$50bn. The intended sale to KSS of all but the toxic PSAN (phase- stabilized ammonium nitrate) airbag inflator assets should ensure continuity of supply to OEMs and employment for 60,000 employees.
From an intellectual property perspective, this will also lead to a transfer of a portfolio that has been built up over 30 years to an organisation which is relatively new to the patent world. Chart 1 is an analysis of the Takata portfolio, broken down by its main technology clusters.
Chart 2 is a similar analysis of Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation (Joyson) listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, with headquarters in China. Joyson merged with KSS in June last year. Chart 2 also illustrates the impact of both the KSS transaction and the earlier 2011 acquisition of Preh GmbH.
Chart 3 is a more detailed study of who has protected a range of airbag technologies. This visualisation provides insight into not only who owns the largest share of the patent “market” (Autoliv) but also identifies who is growing (green) or reducing (red) their share of the market. This type of data will also prove useful to the legal teams tasked with due diligence.
This is a sad moment in Japanese automotive history which has presented China with another opportunity to improve their position internationally. As Joyson work through the transaction and integration, they will be sure to focus on intellectual property, and retaining the R&D teams that have fuelled the innovation pipeline.
First published as a Cipher Automotive Executive Briefing on Takata – what’s left after the crash? Register below for a copy of the full report.

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