Amid a massive airbag scandal, the Japanese auto supplier Takata plans to attract some cash by detailing its business outlook to some major customers at a meeting this week, according to sources.
With more than 28 million cars recalled worldwide over the faulty Takata airbags, it is no wonder that the Japanese auto supplier is looking for some financial aid. Takata’s shares plunged to their lowest since March 2009 on Monday, down 9.8 percent, after the US regulator prompted another 5 million airbag inflators recall last week. The company wants to hold the meeting mainly to test the automakers’ reaction to the possibility of a financial support, according to a person familiar with the plan. Both Honda and Nissan confirmed they received invitations to the meeting last week, but without giving further details. At the beginning of January, following a report by Japan’s Sankei newspaper that automakers were discussing an entirely new financial support for the supplier, a Honda spokesman said it was not considering a fresh lending scheme for Takata Corp, either on its own or as part of a group of Japanese automakers.
The meeting will take place in the wake of a 10th reported death involving the auto parts supplier. “It’s really a rare case for a Japanese supplier to call up automakers and hold such a joint meeting,” an analyst at researcher Carnorama in Tokyo, said. “Takata might have been asking for help from individual carmakers before but I would guess this time they decided to hold a meeting in a larger scale.” Further recalls would add several billion dollars to automakers recall costs, part of which Takata would have to repay once the responsibility is determined, according to the source.