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Toyota SA's Van Zyl honoured

2012-08-13 09:56

President and CEO of Toyota South Africa (TSAM), Dr Johan van Zyl, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the economic and management sciences faculty of the North West University’s Potchefstroom Campus (NWU-PUK).

Dean Elsabè Loots recognised Van Zyl for his contribution to the academic sphere through his roles as professor at the NWU-PUK School for Business Management, adviser to the University of Pretoria’s management sciences faculty and the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

BUSY MAN

Van Zyl was given the title Philosophiae Doctor Honoris Causa for his leadership in the South African and global automotive industry. He is deputy chief officer for Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and the Caribbean in the global Toyota Motor Corporation and as president and CEO of Toyota SAS is also responsible for the daily running of Toyota in Africa.

Van Zyl emphasised the key role of education in socio-economic advancement during his guest lecture on the eve of the ceremony,

“It's my firm view that education – on all levels – is the foundation to economic advancement and the upliftment of our society and hence has been a core focus of our corporate social investment since our founding more than 50 years ago.”

JOURNEY TO THE TOP

He joined Toyota in 1993 as director for sales and the dealer network. His academic experience in economics and marketing helped him progress through various managerial positions until becoming president and CEO of Toyota SA in 2002.

His success is evident in that he:

• Oversaw the largest-yet investment programme by the Japanese company in South Africa.
• Increased production capacity of Durban plant to 220 000 units a year.
• Expanded the local affiliate’s reach of export markets to about 60 countries.
• Stood at the head of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA for several terms from 2005 to 2008.