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Former Hyundai sales chief looks to bright future

Change of location: Former Hyundai sales and marketing director Kevin McCann is relocating to Melbourne.

Kevin McCann charts new course as a consultant after shock departure from Hyundai

23 Mar 2010

ONE of Australia’s leading automotive executives, Kevin McCann, is relocating from Sydney to Melbourne and plans to establish himself as a consultant to the car industry.

Mr McCann oversaw Hyundai’s massive rise in market share and sales in Australia from 2007, including a 39.2 per sales increase last year (to more than 63,000) amid the global financial crisis, but made a shock departure from the factory-owned subsidiary on December 29.

No reasons were given for his sudden exit, while last month a Hyundai Motor Co Australia (HMCA) spokesman only elaborated to the extent that the South Korean manufacturer had undertaken a “global restructure” and “the role of sales and marketing was relinquished” in Australia.

Mr McCann declined to comment on the reasons behind his departure when GoAuto contacted him last week, but said he had fielded a number of job offers from other automotive companies and was currently working as an adviser to the industry.

 center imageLeft: Hyundai marketing director Oliver Mann. Below: Hyundai sales director Damien Meredith.

“Once in Melbourne, I’ll be looking forward to resettling myself into some other role in the industry,” he said.

“In the meantime, I’ve got some advisory work to do for a couple of companies. I can’t name them, because some of the work I’m doing is quite confidential, but they are automotive import companies.

“And if that all works out, I’ll probably contemplate a future as some kind of consultant to the automotive industry in terms of business set-up, new business acquisition, and so on.

“The types of roles that I’ve had (in the past) are few and far between, and you have to be fairly patient for the right one to come up. I’ve had a couple of offers, but they were in Sydney and I’m taking the opportunity of this break to move to Melbourne, which is really where I prefer to live, anyway.”

Mr McCann’s sales and marketing role at HMCA was filled by two new directors. Marketing general manager Oliver Mann became director of marketing, while sales and operations general manager Damien Meredith was promoted to director of sales.

A company spokesperson told GoAuto at the time: “HMCA has undergone an executive-level restructure as part of the company’s global organisation standards and business needs to meet the demands of the company in coming years.

“As such, the role of director of sales and marketing has been relinquished, and Mr Kevin McCann has left the company.”

In February, HMCA denied accusations posted on Twitter that Mr McCann’s departure was related to Hyundai’s failure to pay a promised bonus for reaching 60,000 sales.

HMCA chief executive Edward Lee said: “I don't think that (accusation) is true. I gave the promised bonus to him, he has a KPI (key performance indicator) bonus and I paid everything.”

A spokesperson added: “The company is growing globally, there is a global restructure out there. As part of setting the company up for the future and making sure it is sustainable, the role of sales and marketing was relinquished by Kevin – Kevin left the company and the company thanks Kevin for all his hard work.”

Mr McCann has more than 30 years’ experience in the global automotive industry and was appointed HMCA sales and marketing director in April 2007.

As GoAuto has reported, Mr McCann was previously executive vice-president of the Volkswagen brand at the FAW-Volkswagen joint-venture sales company in China, where he played an integral role in a company-wide (and dealer-wide) reorganisation that saw VW’s Chinese sales increase by 35 per cent to 276,000 vehicles in 2006.

That same year VW was the third best-selling brand in China with a 7.3 per cent market share. Mr McCann also oversaw a lift in VW’s customer sales satisfaction ranking in China from 10th to third.

He joined the Australian automotive industry in 1979 before being engaged by Audi AG in 1995 to establish sales and marketing operations in several Asian markets.

He led the establishment of the Audi brand in China, and as managing director of the Volkswagen Group for South East Asia and the Pacific, he helped define a new strategic direction in the region.

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