With Elon Musk grabbing the headlines, it’s easy to forget that there are many other South Africans who have risen to lofty heights in the global automotive industry. There was Gordon Murray from Durban, the designer of the McLaren F1 supercar, for example, and Brian Gush from Port Elizabeth, who heads Bentley Motorsport. And there’s Oona Scheepers, who plays a key role in Volkswagen’s interior design strategy, having made her mark at Audi and Porsche. Another giant of the global motor industry is Johan van Zyl, who has risen from a childhood in Springs, east of Joburg, to become the president and CEO of Toyota Europe. He is also on the board of the Japanese company, is involved in global operations, and remains chair of Toyota SA Motors.

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