Taipei, Dec. 3 (CNA) Taiwanese entrepreneur Kenneth Yen (嚴凱泰), chairman of Taiwan's biggest automaker Yulon Group, passed away Monday at age 53, according to Taipei Veterans General Hospital.
An unnamed source at the hospital confirmed that Yen was undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer there for two years and a half.
Kenneth Yen (嚴凱泰)
The Yulon Group said in a statement that Yen was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2016 and had been battling the condition until his death Monday.
He is survived by his wife Yen Chen Li-lien (嚴陳莉蓮), who will take over as the group's chief executive officer, the statement said.
He is also survived by his 13-year-old daughter, Michelle, and three-year-old son, John.
The family will follow the late entrepreneur's wishes to not send out announcements of his death, hold a public funeral ceremony, set up a mourning hall or accept floral bouquets, the statement said.
Kenneth Yen went to study in the United States at the age of 14 and returned to Taiwan at 24 to serve as Yulon's deputy general manager before officially taking over as the company's leader a year later.
At the age of 30, Kenneth Yen imported the Nissan Cefiro, a luxury car produced by the Japanese automobile manufacturer Nissa Motors, which generated strong sales in the domestic market.
In 2009, he created the Luxgen brand and sold the vehicles in Taiwan and internationally. The brand's first overseas sale came in Oman in 2010, and it then entered the Russian market in 2013 and the Iranian market in 2017.
After news of Kenneth Yen's death emerged, the Kuomintang (KMT) issued a statement praising him as a very successful entrepreneur who practiced philanthropy, spared no effort to contribute to society and was a loyal KMT member.
Former KMT Chairman and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) also expressed his deepest condolences to Kenneth Yen's family through his office.
Former KMT Chairman and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九, front, second right) and Kenneth Yen (嚴凱泰, front, third right)