Dr. Johan van Zyl CEO Toyota South Africa now also over Toyota Europe


Challenging new role for Toyota South Africa’s President and CEO


Following structural changes within the global Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Management team, Toyota South Africa’s President and CEO Dr Johan van Zyl’s portfolio has been expanded to now also include Toyota Europe.

Added to his existing responsibility as Chief Executive Officer: Africa Region, Dr van Zyl will now also be Chief Executive Officer: Europe Region. He remains President and CEO of TSAM and also becomes President and CEO of Toyota Motors Europe.

“This is a fantastic career opportunity and I am very excited about this new challenge. However, I want to reiterate that my home will always be South Africa and I remain committed to the development of the industry in this country,” says Dr van Zyl.

The new role will see Dr van Zyl leading the Toyota brands in both the African and European regions, with focus on continuous improvement of production, supply and sales. “The European market is a very competitive market and can at best be described as a recovering market, showing increase in automobile sales for the first time in 6 years during 2014. Having said that, it is a dynamic market with a strong automotive industry.”

Dr van Zyl will resume his new responsibilities effective 1 April 2015 and he will be based in Brussels and Sandton.


Abridged CV: Dr Johan van Zyl

Dr Johan van Zyl started his career with Toyota South Africa Motors in 1993 as the Director: Vehicles Sales and Dealer Network. This was the starting point of a great career with the company. Prior to Toyota South Africa, Dr van Zyl was mainly involved in education both as a lecturer and a student.

After obtaining his doctorate in commerce, Dr van Zyl started lecturing at the University of Potchefstroom. Before entering the motoring industry, Dr van Zyl was awarded professorship and consulted to various businesses.

In 1993, he joined Toyota and was responsible for all sales activities as well as dealer network. In 1995, Dr van Zyl was promoted to Group Marketing Director and was responsible for all sales and marketing activities. In July 1996, he was promoted to Managing Director: Vehicle Marketing where his responsibilities enlarged to include Hino Truck operations in South Africa. In 1997 he became the Managing Director: Toyota (SA) Marketing and a year later became the President and Chief Operating Officer of Toyota South Africa Motors. He was promoted into his current position as President and Chief Executive Officer of Toyota South Africa Motors in 2002. In 2009, Dr van Zyl was appointed as a Managing Officer of a Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan and in 2013, he added Chief Executive Officer for Toyota in Africa to his responsibilities.

His exceptional business acumen and knowledge of the industry has been strengthened over the years with travels to Japan, the United States and into Africa. In recognition of his achievements in the industry, Dr van Zyl was elected as President of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) from 2005 – 2008 and currently holds this position.

Dr van Zyl is an avid sportsman. He excelled in athletics during his school and university careers and is also a keen squash player and cyclist. Rugby and motorsport are among his major recreational interests. His motoring interest also extended to classic cars of which he owns a few gems.

Dr van Zyl’s passion for education has continued long after his days at the University of Potchefstroom as he had served on the Council for the North West University, the Advisory Boards of the University of Stellenbosch Business School and the Economics Faculty of Pretoria University. He was awarded a honourary Doctorate in Commerce by the North West University for his contribution to the motor industry and education in South Africa.

Dr van Zyl is a real family man and spends all his free time with his wife, Santie and their daughters at their home in Pretoria.