Takata Moving Into Humbler Offices as Air-Bag Maker Restructures

  • Company sees relocation saving about $440,000 per year
  • Supplier behind record auto recalls has been seeking buyers

The Ark Hills South Tower building, which houses the Takata Corp. headquarters, second from left, in Tokyo on June 25, 2015.

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Takata Corp. will move its head office from a posh building in an upscale Tokyo district to a redeveloped area to cut costs, as the troubled air-bag maker fights to survive the biggest recall in the auto industry’s history.

The company will move next week to an office tower built on reclaimed land near the Tokyo Bay as part of efforts to “rationalize its operations,” said Toyohiro Hishikawa, a Takata spokesman. In leaving a building in Roppongi with tenants including Coca-Cola Co., Yahoo Japan Corp. and a sushi restaurant with three Michelin stars, Takata will halve its rent and save about 50 million yen ($440,000) a year, Hishikawa said.

Takata has sold shareholdings in Japanese automakers including Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. to help fund recalls of millions of flawed air bags, which Jefferies Group LLC analyst Takaki Nakanishi has estimated may end up costing more than 1 trillion yen. The company also divested its Irvin Automotive Inc. interiors unit to closely held supplier Piston Group for 10 billion yen in September.

The air-bag maker has honed in on bids from Autoliv Inc. and Key Safety Systems Inc. as it progresses toward a final round of negotiating a sale, according to people familiar with the matter.

The area Takata has selected for its new headquarters -- Tennozu, in the Shinagawa ward -- used to be home primarily to warehouses. It was redeveloped into a business district beginning in the 1980s and added a monorail station. Takata will occupy the 19th floor of the 22-story Tokyo Front Terrace tower, near the station.

— With assistance by Jie Ma

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