DETROIT -- In the 1990s, Breed Technologies Inc. was good at low-balling its airbag and seat belt prices. It wasn't as good at turning a profit.
The company had global aspirations but failed to make money building entire modules and shipping them to markets such as South Korea.
In 1999, Breed Technologies declared bankruptcy.
But in 2003, Jason Luo, then president of the company's Asian operations, led a global push for lower-cost manufacturing sites and new, geographically diverse customers. That was the same year that Breed was acquired and renamed Key Safety Systems Inc.
Key Safety still competes heavily on price but does so profitably now -- at least until the fourth quarter of last year, said Luo, who was appointed CEO in 2007.
Luo's privately held suburban Detroit company is the smallest of four global suppliers of safety systems, lagging larger rivals TRW Automotive Inc. of suburban Detroit, Autoliv Inc. of Stockholm and Takata Corp. of Tokyo. But Key Safety has snagged several high-profile contracts recently.