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Hyundai’s Edward Lee to head international sales

New challenge: Edward Lee served as HMCA CEO for nearly four years, overseeing a doubling of sales between 2008 and 2012.

Promotion for Hyundai Australia CEO Edward Lee means change at the local helm

Hyundai logo9 Jan 2013

HYUNDAI Motor Company Australia (HMCA) chief executive officer Edward Lee has been promoted to head of the company’s international sales division and will depart Australia for South Korea this month.

Mr Lee will be replaced by fellow Korean Chul-hwan (Charlie) Kim, who has been head of Hyundai’s overseas marketing group.

Mr Kim previously worked for Hyundai in India and America, and starts his new role next Monday, January 14.

Mr Lee joined HMCA in May 2009, and in his time as CEO the company has more than doubled its annual sales, from 45,409 units in 2008 to 91,536 in 2012. Last year, the brand finished fourth on the sales charts ahead of local hero Ford.

Such has been the company’s growth here that its 2012 sales figure easily outstripped the (record-breaking) 74,285 units the company sold in the UK market, which is roughly double the size of the Australian market.

Mr Lee has also overseen the expansion of the dealer network from 142 sites to 155.

In his tenure, Mr Lee also received a government award from the South Korean president for his efforts to improve exports to Australia.

GoAuto understands Mr Lee expected to stay at his post for another year, and called his time here “the most rewarding and enjoyable time of my professional career”.

“I would like to thank the fantastic team who have supported me, both our Hyundai staff around Australia and in our dealerships – we really do have world-class people working for Hyundai and that is reflected in our results,” he said.

“I would also like to thank our associates across the country, everyone with whom I’ve worked in my capacity as CEO. I’ve made some lifelong friends here and it is very sad to be leaving this great country.” Mr Lee’s departure and the appointment Mr Kim as CEO is the latest of several new senior appointments at HMCA over the past few months.

Last October, former GM Holden executive director of sales, marketing and aftersales John Elsworth was appointed Hyundai’s chief operating officer, while former Wheels editor Bill Thomas was appointed general manager of public relations in September.

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