Henry Ford’s Model T revolutionized mobility, assembly lines and society in the early 20th century. Since then, though, it’s difficult to say whether automakers have ever truly transformed themselves and the economy, or have just continued to evolve.
Toyota Motor Corp. has been trying to prove it can revamp itself. After a slew of statements in recent weeks, the Japanese car giant announced Thursday a shakeup of its board and top executive positions, to show that it can “transcend practices of the past” and survive in what it called an era of profound transformation. That came a day after Toyota’s splashy $1 billion investment in Singapore’s Grab Holdings Inc., the biggest-ever bet by an automaker on ride hailing.