Toyota Motor Europe (TME) announced today that its President and CEO, Dr. Johan van Zyl, who is also Chief Executive Officer, Europe Region for Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), will retire from these posts effective April 1st, 2021. Dr. van Zyl, a South African native, has been leading TME and the Europe region for Toyota since April 2015. Previously, he had led Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd. and had remained as Chairman of that company following his move to Brussels in 2015, a post he will conserve after April 1st.
Replacing Dr. van Zyl, current Executive Vice President of TME, Matt Harrison, will be appointed President and CEO, TME, and Chief Executive Officer, Europe Region for TMC. British born, Matt Harrison first joined Toyota Great Britain in 2000 and held several executive posts in Europe, including Director of Lexus Europe from 2008; Managing Director, Toyota Great Britain from 2013; Vice President for Sales and Marketing (2015) and Executive Vice President (2019) of TME.
Toyota’s European operations have excelled over the past six years, delivering sustained business results. TME sales – led by Matt Harrison (including Toyota and Lexus), passed the one-million mark in 2019 for the first time in 10 years and topped 6% market share in 2020, including improving the sales revenue and mix to enhance profit and reduce CAFE emissions.
Under Dr. van Zyl’s strategic and operational leadership, TME expanded the Hybrid line up to lead the European CO2 emissions, enhanced localisation with more production and products in Russia, Poland, Turkey and France; additional investments in new vehicle platforms (Toyota New Global Architecture) in the UK and other plants; and the transfer of ownership of the Kolin, Czech Republic joint-venture plant with PSA Peugeot Citroën to sole Toyota ownership last January. This was achieved while delivering sustainable profitability in the region.
Matt Harrison will now lead the on-going transformation of Toyota in Europe from an automotive to a mobility company – focusing on achieving TME’s business plan of 1.4 million sales by 2025 including the launch of 10 battery electric vehicles (BEV), at least five plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), the continued expansion of hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) sales, and a diversification into mobility services with the KINTO brand.
What I am most satisfied about is the very strong team we have here in Europe. With such great people across the Toyota European organization, with such talent and passion, there won’t be any disruption in the transformation we have embarked upon, and I have no doubt Toyota will do very well under Matt’s leadership.
Dr Johan van Zyl, Operating Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation and President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe