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Toyota SA's CEO Andrew Kirby named 2022 Business Leader of the Year

President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) Andrew Kirby was named 2022 Business Leader of the Year at the Sunday Times Top 100 Companies Awards. The award was presented at the Empire Conference and Events Venue in Parktown, Johannesburg.
President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors, Andrew Kirby | image supplied
President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors, Andrew Kirby | image supplied

The Business Leader of the Year Award is based on nominations and votes by business leaders. Kirby was recognised for the stewardship role he played in resuscitating the Toyota Prospecton Plant in Durban after it was severely damaged by floods in April.

The mud was between 0,6 and 1,8m deep over the entire 87-hectare site, causing extensive damage to electrical, mechanical and IT equipment. TSAM had to order just over 100,000 new equipment parts to replace the damaged ones, while around 4,300 flood-damaged vehicles had to be crushed.

A top disaster management executive dispatched to the site by parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) stated that it was “the most extensive damage to any production facility within Toyota globally”. However, by the end of July the plant had started ramping up production and regained full production in September.

TSAM’s Prospecton Plant produces Corolla Cross and Quest as well as segment leaders Hilux, Hiace Ses’fikile and Fortuner – while also assembling a variety of Hino commercial vehicles.

In his acceptance speech, Kirby said:

“I really believe that the challenges that we faced during the pandemic from a manufacturing, retail and export point of view – and then, of course, the riots in July – helped us to be prepared for what happened this year. It is not something we’d ever wish on anyone, but they helped us to grow and develop our capabilities and resilience – as an organisation – to be able to survive and even flourish…”

“This recognition is a tribute to everyone at Toyota South Africa, from the executives, management and the entire workforce who displayed remarkable resourcefulness, commitment and perseverance to achieve what can only be described as a small miracle.”

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