Toyota Motor Corp.: Heir Steers Carmaker out of Crisis

Published 25 Jan 2016
Reference 6189
Region North America
Length 28 page(s)
Language English

In 2008-09, Toyota Motor Corp. became engulfed in a perfect storm: oil prices spiked, the global financial crisis brought car loans to a halt, the dollar tanked against the yen, and millions of Toyota vehicles in North America were recalled. Toyota posted its first ever loss since 1950. The case describes how Akio Toyoda, scion of the dynasty behind the Toyota empire, ascended to the top job in 2009, and turned the struggling carmaker around. It also tells the story of the Toyoda family, whose 8% ownership stake has enabled it to maintain control of one of the world’s most successful companies and steer it through one of the most difficult periods in its history.

Teaching objectives

The case highlights the role of a powerful Japanese dynasty in managing a global multinational company for nearly 80 years, in particular how the heir single-handedly restored the company values and legacy at a crucial moment in its history. It offers an opportunity to discuss the role of professional managers who are vital for the sustainability of family-run enterprises. The case encourages students to view global companies such as Ford, Fiat and VW as more than industrial giants but as family-run businesses, each with a different approach to management.

  • Toyota motor
  • Family business
  • Akio Toyoda
  • Salaryman
  • Automobile industry
  • Saylor family
  • Japanese carmaker
  • Recall crisis
  • Q21516
  • Corporate Governance
  • Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation