Toyota is planning to restructure its company to fight the ‘curse of 10 million’—the global vehicle sales mark that seems to trip up the world’s biggest manufacturers.
The Japanese company will reportedly rejig its units to focus on vehicle size and type, as opposed to markets, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal. The company will also appoint younger members of its senior executive team to head important units, all in an effort to groom the next generation of leaders and speed up decision-making.
“Bigger was better in the past, and that’s why we were all expanding,” one senior executive at Toyota told the Journal. “But at this scale, we’ve come to a point that being too big is perhaps not a good thing.”
These moves are being made in light of what has happened to General Motors (GM), Volkswagen (VLKAY) and Toyota themselves (TM) when they’ve either crossed or neared the barrier of 10 million vehicles sold worldwide.
That threshold first tripped up Toyota, who came near that number in 2009, only to be hit by a recall of millions of cars over complaints of a faulty gas pedal and a $1.2 billion settlement. GM neared that mark in 2013, only to be involved in a massive ignition switch scandal that was linked to 124 deaths. The Detroit-based company ended up paying a $900 million settlement.
Volkswagen hit the 10 million mark in 2014, but then fell into a much-publicized diesel emissions scandal, where it was found to have installed software in cars that cheated emissions testing in the U.S.
Toyota has sold more than 10 million vehicles for the last two years, and has also topped all other manufacturers in global vehicle sales for four years running.