Yulon Group chairman Kenneth Yen dies in Taipei at age 54

Yulon Group chairman Kenneth Yen (嚴凱泰) died at Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Monday afternoon


(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Yulon Group chairman, multi-millionaire Kenneth Yen (嚴凱泰), died at Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Monday afternoon; he was 54.

Yen was a Taiwanese entrepreneur who is listed as one of the richest people in the world. Yen began to lead the China Motor Corp and Yulon, his family's business, in 1989.

Yen had substantial contribution to the founding of Yulon’s subsidiary Luxgen Motor Co in 2008 and the rolling out of Luxgen cars the following year. Luxgen sedan cars and SUVs are sold to many countries in the world, including Taiwan, China, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, and Iran.

In 1995, Yen, who is the adopted son of Yulon Group founder Yen Ching-ling, moved the Yulon factory from New Taipei City to Sanyi Township in Miaoli County, where Cefiro sedans were produced under license from Japan's Nissan Motors. For two years in a row, Cefiro was the best-selling car in Taiwan, giving a hefty boost to the company’s failing reputation.

Yen is estimated to have net worth of US$540 million, according to Forbes magazine.

He reportedly had a surgery to treat cancer in his lungs in April, 2016. He publicly said he faced the cancer treatment in an optimistic way and began to exercise and live a regular life to fight the cancer, subsequently losing 13 kilograms of body weight.

The Yulon Group chairman also reportedly had esophageal cancer. His condition once improved, but then reportedly had a relapse. His last public appearance was reportedly at the most recent Taipei Auto Show at the end of 2017.

He had recently been hospitalized and was reportedly intubated two months ago. He died at the Veterans General Hospital in Taipei on Monday evening.