OBITUARY: Johan van Zyl: built Toyota SA into powerhouse | 1958-2021

The growth of the South African economy drove him at least as much as the growth of Toyota

08 August 2021 - 00:06 By Chris Barron

Toyota SA chair Johan van Zyl, who has died in Pretoria at the age of 63 from Covid-related complications, led the transformation of the group from a family-owned business into a global player.

He was pivotal in helping SA become an important part of the global automobile supply chain. He believed the auto sector was vital for the entire South African economy. He saw it as a catalyst for industrialisation and believed that by growing the manufacturing base in SA, and the business in terms of volumes, it could make a huge contribution to employment, skills development and the country's foreign exchange balance...

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