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by Alex Gibson

Toyota may have regained its crown as the world’s biggest automaker, but president Akio Toyoda has been revealed to be the lowest paid car boss among the five largest automotive manufacturers.

Toyoda’s pay in 2012 was just over $2 million (184 million yen). Ford CEO Alan Mulally, the highest paid among the big-five, took home $21 million in the same period, followed by Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn’s $19million. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche took home $11.5 million, and GM boss Dan Akerson received $11 million, despite that maker’s well-known struggles in recent years.

Interestingly, while fellow Japanese manufacturer Nissan has seen profit growth stall in 2013, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn’s salary is more than five times higher than Toyoda’s.


Toyoda, grandson of founder Kiichiro Toyoda, took control of the automotive giant in June 2009, following the maker’s first annual loss in 59 years. This came after a crisis period for Toyota, involving a soaring yen and a series of dramatic recalls relating to unresponsive brakes that affected almost nine million vehicles.

“Akio has been tested like no other CEO of Toyota in the last 30 years,” said Maryann Keller of global auto-industry consulting firm Maryann Keller & Associates, referring to Toyoda’s challenge to rebuild consumer trust in the automaker and drive sales upwards.

Under the direction of Toyoda (pictured) the maker has seen sales increase by 28 per cent in 2013. By comparison, General Motors has grown by 12 per cent, and Volkswagen AG sales have fallen by 11 per cent.

Don’t feel too sorry for Toyoda just yet, though. A weakening yen means Toyota sales should increase as the year goes on. And, as a part of the Toyoda family, he controls shares in the automaker of about 0.13 per cent, valued at some $256 million.