Toyota’s Close Call
The Toyota accelerator crisis came at a time when Toyota Motor Company had more global market share than at any other point in the company’s history. This was a fundamental goal of the company and the management team at the time, a time when there was not a family atmosphere or a member of the Toyoda family on the management team. The accelerator crisis not only could have been handled in a less reputation damaging way, but there is a chance that the crisis could have been adverted all together. Thankfully for Toyota, their market share at the time was high and that their reputation as a high quality high safety brand, give them a pass with some consumers.
It’s ironic that it was a defect in Toyota’s U.S. vehicles that almost cost them their stellar reputation in the industry. As it was the United States that gave Toyota their second chance as an auto manufacturer in the early 1950’s. Toyota was on the cusp of bankruptcy, when the United States military placed an order for 5,000 vehicles for its war efforts in Korea and revived the company (Pearce & Robinson, 2013).
Early Warning Signs
Moving Away From a Family Oriented Business Toyota was the product, in the late 1930’s, of a family business. As they grew throughout the years and even as they moved into foreign markets, they kept their identity as a family owned, family run corporation. Starting in 1995 a series of non-family members took over Toyota, and for 15 years with an aggressive globalization strategy they built manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Europe, and other markets, doubling their overseas manufacturing facilities to over 100 (Pearce & Robinson, 2013). This aggressive globalization strategy left many people within the organization up in arms about how the company was being handled and a lack of communication, not only from/to the headquarters in Japan, but within the