Recall-beleaguered Takata Corp.'s long-anticipated move into bankruptcy has resolved some questions about its predicament — but raises others.
The Japanese supplier will continue making airbag inflators, at least until 2020. Its global businesses in airbags, seat belts and other components will go to Key Safety Systems, Chinese-owned and based in the U.S.
But here are some lingering questions:
- Despite assurances that Key will keep Takata plants and employees in place, will the U.S. company have to make changes when it takes over the long-troubled Japanese corporation to reassure customers that its problems are truly over?
- If Key does make substantial changes, will it unsettle Takata's Japanese home-market customers?
- Will Takata's Japanese customer base — an important part of its acquisition — embrace the Detroit-based management team of a Chinese-owned corporation, Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corp.?
- What operating redundancies will Key inherit in the U.S., Asia and Europe, with plants, r&d centers, administrative offices and management?
- Will the bankruptcy filings in Japan and the U.S. fully protect Key from future Takata-related recall liabilities as it takes over Takata production? What role will Key's Chinese electronics parent Joyson play in the future of the combined Key-Takata business?
- Which of the companies — Key, Takata, Joyson — will lead the organization into the new era of advanced safety systems?