If there’s a sub-story in the Koenigsegg sale that could prove to be a stone in their shoe, it’s that of the employee from BAIC who’s accused of stealing trade secrets from Ford a few years ago and is currently bing held in Michigan.
The Detroit News has some more information about it, which they published today as Xiang Dong Yu was arraigned in the US District Court.
Yu was arrested last month at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport when he returned from China. The government says a laptop computer he was carrying contained thousands of pages of proprietary Ford documents and a large number of confidential documents belonging to another company not named today in court…..
….According to a federal indictment, Yu had access to “sensitive Ford design documents.” He is alleged to have made electronic copies of “system design specification documents” prior to leaving his job in Dearborn in 2007. The documents contained proprietary information about Ford’s engine and transmission mounting subsystems, electrical distribution systems, power supplies, electrical subsystems and generic body modules.
Prosecutors allege Yu started taking documents to the industrial city of Shenzhen, China, as early as 2005. Officials say he was hired in 2007 by PCE Industry Inc., a California-based subsidiary of a Taiwanese electronics company, Foxconn.
The government contends Yu tried to use the documents in 2008 to land a job with another Chinese company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. He eventually was hired by Chinese automaker Beijing Automotive Corp.
That last paragraph is the one that makes me nervous. So this guy apparently stole the stuff on his own, then tried to land a job using the documents as bait. It didn’t work at SAIC, but eventually landed a job at Beijing Automotive.
There’s no allegation there that he got the job at BAIC because of the stolen documents, but the insinuation is damning enough.
I hope this isn’t something that will scuttle things as far as KG’s purchase of Saab is concerned.
For those who don’t know, Beijing Automotive has offered to take what could be up to a 20% stake in Koenigsegg Group once the deal is finalised and this potential infusion of funding is pretty important to the whole Saab sale.
I give that whole trade secrets story a heck of a lot more credit than I give this story, from the World Socialist Website.
I received a few links in my email to this one overnight. Upon reading it, all I can say is it reads to me like a bunch of extreme leftwing spin on news that we’ve already heard.
The sky is not falling.
Robert Farago has left The Truth About Cars and my, hasn’t it changed?
Far less frequent are the stories with content like “Saab is dead. Everything’s dead. Everyone’s a liar – and dead!”
The other day they even had a story about GM using some creative accounting techniques to boost Saab’s losses over the years. DI.se had a story about Saab costing GM around $5,000 for each car that it sold and yet, KPMG and the Swedish government found that Saab were in a sound condition in a study the conducted for the EU. The reasoning – Saab were healthy but the losses (if they ever existed) were paper losses most likely attributable to the artists in GM’s accounting division.
Today there’s even a story from an author who’s also a car dealer, trying to make sure a classic Saab 900 convertible he got as a trade goes to a good home.
Finally, the biggest story in Sweden in the last 36 hours – the Swedish referee who booted Ireland out of The World Cup by missing a handball foul that the player concerned even admitted to.