The Importance of a Succession Plan for Passing a Family Business to Future Generations


Name of the provider / Family business 

Grupo Antolín 

Professional sector and company size 

Multinational company that designs and manufactures components and modules for automotive interiors: headliners, doors, lighting and instrument panels, 28000 employees

Need/problems/challenge addressed 

Succession plan 




Link to more information  

Succession planning plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth transition of a family business from one generation to the next. It involves making strategic decisions, carefully considering family dynamics and professionalising management practises. Grupo Antolín, a family business in the automotive interiors industry, is an excellent example of how well-executed succession planning can ensure the longevity and success of a business. They have a presence in 26 countries and 28,000 employees. When the time came in 2015 and the owner retired, they were well prepared to face the challenge.

Grupo Antolín’s journey began with a small mechanical workshop in Burgos, Spain, founded by Avelino Antolín López and his sons Avelino and José. The entrepreneurial spirit of these two brothers led to the invention of the rubber-metal ball joint, which eventually paved the way for the group’s growth and expansion. However, as the family business grew, it became imperative to plan for a smooth transition of leadership to ensure the continued success of the company.

Grupo Antolín recognised the need to professionalise the management of the company and took specific steps to ensure a successful succession. It was important for them to involve all family members in the development of a succession protocol, thus fostering respect and commitment from all parties involved. The involvement of external professionals in key positions, such as the CEO, ensured that day-to-day operations were handled competently and disruptions were kept to a minimum during the transition.

A well-developed succession plan not only takes into account the technical aspects of the leadership transition, but also preserves the family’s values and the company’s unique culture. Grupo Antolín understands that maintaining continuity and identity is crucial. Appointing family members to key leadership positions, such as the presidency and vice-presidency, has ensured that the family’s vision and values remain at the heart of the business.

Successfully passing a family business from one generation to the next requires careful management of family dynamics. Grupo Antolín emphasised the importance of respect, open communication and a shared commitment to fulfilling the succession plan. By involving all family members and seeking consensus, conflicts were defused and a harmonious transition was promoted, taking everyone’s interests into account.

One of the main objectives of a succession plan is to ensure the continuity of the business and minimise disruption to day-to-day operations. Grupo Antolín’s approach of separating the family’s leadership role from day-to-day management tasks allowed the company to maintain stability and focus on its core activities. This allowed the company to adapt to market changes and continue its growth trajectory.

The case of Grupo Antolín shows how important a well thought-out succession plan is for handing over a family business to future generations. By understanding the role of professional management, involving all family members and preserving the values and culture of the business, a successful transition can be achieved. Effective succession planning not only secures the future of the business, but also strengthens family relationships and paves the way for continued success in the dynamic business landscape.