THE HISTORY OF HALFWAY TOYOTA
Before and up to 1947, the town of Umzinto was the Centre of the mid South Coast. There were no coastal roads and double-lane highways back then. A trip from Port Shepstone to Durban was quite an outing, with the only route a sandy track winding through Umzinto and on to Illovo where the tarmac eventually began.
Between Umzinto and Scottburgh, “Saunders Garage” was located in Park Rynie. The business was sold to “Murray and Daddy” of Umzinto, and in 1965 the owners, A.M. Edwards, G.B. Payne and J.G. Baikie Snr, fittingly renamed it ‘Halfway Service Station”, due to it being located halfway between Port Shepstone and Durban.
Shortly after the name change an opportunity arose to take on the relatively "unknown" and "untried" franchise of a new Japanese automaker, “Toyota”. The decision to invest in this franchise was a challenging and risky one, but John Baikie Snr never regretted his decision. Toyota grew from strength to strength into the reputable name it is today.
Halfway Service Station, which incidentally still stands on its original site today, was then taken over in its entirety by John Baikie Snr and became Halfway Toyota Park Rynie.
When John Baikie Snr's son, George Baikie, matriculated from Kearsney College and had completed his compulsory military service, he began his apprenticeship at Scottburgh Motors before moving on to Halfway Toyota.
It was here that George first dived into the admin and sales divisions, before completely taking over the business from his father.
The business has expanded considerably since then, with Halfway Toyota Dealerships being opened and purchased in Widenham, Howick, and Shelly Beach in KwaZulu Natal.
The Halfway Toyota group expanded into Johannesburg in 1999, when Bryanston Toyota was acquired. This is now one of Toyota South Africa’s flagship dealerships, Halfway Toyota Fourways, situated at the magnificent The Arena, adjacent to Design Quarter on William Nicol Drive,
Towards the latter part of 2008, Halfway Toyota purchased Honeydew Toyota, further asserting its presence in Gauteng.
Motor vehicles are not the only service offered.
Other businesses in the group now include Industrial and Domestic Cleaning Services and IT and Internet solutions to mention a few.