(SEOUL) September 24, 2013 – Byung-Tae (Brandon) Yea is to leave his role as President of Kia Motors Europe with immediate effect to take up a global role at Hyundai Motor Company. Mr Yea will now become responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Export business at Hyundai Motor Company, based in Seoul, Korea, responsible for developing and overseeing the strategy to expand the company’s commercial vehicle business.
In his two years as President of Kia Motors Europe, Mr Yea has overseen tremendous growth for Kia in Europe. Most recently, sales increased from 295,000 in 2011 to 338,000 in 2012, representing an increase in Kia’s market share from 2.2% to 2.7% (ACEA/EU+EFTA). Kia’s growth momentum has continued in 2013, with its market share reaching a record level of nearly 2.8% in the first eight months of the year and all this despite the most challenging market conditions of a generation, which have seen the European automotive market decline by 5.2% (ACEA/EU+EFTA).
Replacing Mr Yea as President of Kia Motors Europe is Mr Ho Sung Song, who has held several senior roles within the Hyundai and Kia organisations since joining Hyundai Motor Company in 1988. He will be based at Kia Motors Europe’s headquarters in Frankfurt.
Mr Song brings with him vast experience around the world and in Europe. He held several senior management positions before being appointed President of Kia Motors France in 2007 for nearly three years. He subsequently headed Kia Motors Corporation’s Export Planning Group, and then had a leading role at Hyundai Motor Group’s business improvement groups in 2012.
Taking his new post President of Kia Motors Europe from 23 September 2013, Mr Song will work alongside Kia Motors Europe’s COO Michael Cole to lead Kia to further growth in Europe in what remains a weak market.
On his appointment, Mr Song said: “I’m excited to take on this role as President of Kia Motors Europe and look forward to continuing the good work of my predecessor, supported by the dedicated and talented team here in Frankfurt. There are strong opportunities to drive further growth in sales and market share thanks to the exceptional new Kia product range that exhibits world-class qualities and excellent value.”
Mr Song, 51 years of age, is married with three children. He is a keen sportsman, with a specific interest in playing football.
Kia Motors Europe is the European sales, marketing, and service arm of Kia Motors Corporation. With its headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, it covers 30 markets in Europe.
Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.com) – a maker of quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. Over 2.7 million Kia vehicles a year are produced in nine manufacturing and assembly operations in five countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering around 150 countries. Kia today has over 47,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of US$42 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan – "The Power to Surprise" – represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting and inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.