As if Ford Motor Company (F) didn’t have enough problems over the last decade, it comes out that it has also contended with a Chinese national stealing its design secrets.
FBI: According to the indictment, [Xiang Dong a.k.a. Mike] Yu was a Product Engineer for the Ford Motor Company from 1997 to 2007 and had access to Ford trade secrets, including Ford design documents.
In December 2006, Yu accepted a job at the China branch of a U.S. company. The indictment alleges that on the eve of his departure from Ford and before he told Ford of his new job, Yu copied some 4,000 Ford documents onto an external hard drive, including sensitive Ford design documents. Included in those documents were system design specifications for the Engine/Transmission Mounting Subsystem, Electrical Distribution system, Electric Power Supply, Electrical Subsystem and Generic Body Module, among others.
Ford has spent millions of dollars and decades on research, development and testing to develop and continuously improve the design specifications set forth in these documents. The indictment also alleges that Yu took Ford design documents to China in July 2005 in conjunction with his efforts to obtain employment with a Chinese automotive company. Lastly, the indictment alleges that Yu used stolen Ford documents in an effort to secure employment with a Chinese automotive company in 2008.
The companies are Foxconn PCE Industry Inc., an electronics manufacturer, and Beijing Automotive Corp., which later hired Yu, according to the Detroit Free Press. Both are not accused of wrongdoing.
The question is, why would anyone want to steal designs from the failing American auto industry?
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