Welcome to the Halfway Group
Before and up to 1947, the town of Umzinto was the centre of the mid-South Coast. There were no coastal roads or double-lane highways. A trip from Port Shepstone to Durban was quite an outing, with the only route winding through Umzinto along sandy tracks towards Illovo where the tarmac eventually began.
Between Umzinto and Scottburgh, the route meandered its way down to the coast at Park Rynie, where Saunders Garage was located. The business of Saunders Garage was sold to Murray & Daddy of Umzinto and, in 1965, the Directors of Murray & Daddy - A.M. Edwards, G.B. Payne & J.G. Baikie (Snr) changed Saunders Garage to Halfway Service Station. This name was chosen because the service station was roughly the halfway mark between Port Shepstone and Durban.
Shortly after the name change, an opportunity arose to purchase a relatively "unknown" and "untried" franchise of a new Japanese automaker named Toyota. The decision to invest in this franchise was a challenging and risky one, but Mr John Baikie (Snr) never regretted his decision to invest in the Toyota franchise, since Toyota grew from strength to strength into the reputable name it is today. Eventually, Mr John Baikie (Snr) took over the running of Halfway Service Station which, incidentally, still stands on its original site today. He saw an opportunity to buy out Halfway Toyota Park Rynie from his partners to become the sole owner. When John Baikie (Snr)'s son, George, matriculated and completed his compulsory military service, he began his apprenticeship at Scottburgh Motors before moving across to Halfway Toyota. It was here that George first immersed himself in the administration and sales divisions, before completely taking over the business from his father.
A subsequent desire to establish and grow the Halfway brand within Southern Africa has led to the business expanding considerably since then. Today, the Halfway Group is essentially comprised of three divisions, namely property, motor and corporate services. The main business of the Group is in the Motor Industry, with brands such as Toyota, Hino, Ford, Nissan, Hyundai and Mazda. Toyota is the largest brand within the Halfway Group, holding eleven Halfway Toyota dealerships, including three dealerships in Botswana.