Published on November 20th, 2014 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Takata Corp. Collapses As Airbags Continue To Fail
With so many recalls and airbag accidents on the rise, the house of Takata (manufacturer of airbags for the global auto market) is collapsing. Takata Corp. Chairman Shigehisa Takada’s has also made it a public relations nightmare with his failure to come forward and address an airbag crisis ensnaring the world’s biggest automakers risks shaking investor confidence in the 81-year-old manufacturer’s prospects.
Takada skipped an analyst briefing in Tokyo this week and sent in his place CFO Yoichiro Nomura, who also appeared at the city’s stock exchange last week to bow in apology for the company. The last public showing by the head of the maker of airbags linked to four deaths was in June at an annual shareholder meeting closed to media. Since then, his only statement was issued seven days after the U.S. urged immediate fixes to cars recalled because of Takata products.
Takada’s absence threatens to prolong investor concerns over the company’s ability to overcome the airbag crisis, which has knocked 62% off its market value this year. By contrast, General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra has spoken publicly throughout the year in response to scrutiny over its handling of ignition-switch recalls linked to multiple deaths.