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Hyundai sales chief departs

Lauded: Chris Judd receives the ‘AFL Player of the Year’ award from Hyundai's former Australian sales and marketing director Kevin McCann earlier this month.

Sudden departure for Hyundai's successful Australian sales and marketing chief

29 Dec 2009

HYUNDAI has announced the shock departure of the man who oversaw a stellar market share increase for the Korean brand in Australia, Kevin McCann.

The factory-owned Australian subsidiary confirmed the immediate departure of its sales and marketing director today (December 29).

Hyundai Motor Company Australia gave no reason for Mr McCann’s sudden exit and a company spokesman could not say if he would undertake a new role within the industry.

The spokesman told GoAuto: "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.

"The company wishes to thank Mr McCann for his very significant contribution to the company’s progress in the last three years."Mr McCann’s sales and marketing role will be filled by two new HMCA directors, both of whom have about four years’ experience at HMCA.

HMCA marketing general manager Oliver Mann will become director of marketing, while HMCA’s sales and operations general manager Damien Meredith will become director of sales, bringing with them more than four decades of auto industry experience.

Mr Hershman said both executives had been “very much part of HMCA’s growth within Australia in recent years”. GoAuto understands HMCA will not appointment replacements for their previous roles.

In today’s press release, titled ‘Hyundai appoints two new directors’, HMCA said it had made two new appointments as it consolidates on its successful results in 2009 to date.

“After almost three years with HMCA, Kevin McCann, who has played a key role in the company's success as former Director Sales & Marketing, has left the company as of today,” said HMCA.

Mr McCann, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the global automotive industry, was appointed HNCA sales and marketing director in April 2007, before which he was executive vice-president of the Volkswagen brand at the FAW-Volkswagen joint-venture sales company in China.

Mr McCann was integral in a company and dealer-wide reorganisation that saw Volkswagen’s Chinese sales increase by 35 per cent to 276,000 vehicles in 2006, when VW was the third best-selling brand with a 7.3 per cent market share.

The married Australian father of two 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.

Mr McCann 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.

In his sales and marketing role at HMCA, Mr McCann oversaw an increase in market share for the Korean brand locally from 4.8 per cent in 2006 and 2007, to 4.4 per cent in 2008, when Hyundai opened its new purpose-built head office at Macquarie Park in Sydney (pictured below).

So far in 2009 Hyundai holds a record seven per cent market share in Australia, where the Korean brand's sales are up a staggering 41.6 per cent in a market that is down 9.3 per cent to November this year.

Hyundai is one of the few brands to grow in 2009, when it hoisted itself from eighth to fifth on the list of top-selling brands.

As Mr McCann revealed at the facelifted Santa Fe launch in late October, HMCA will in the first half of next year launch three volume-selling new models in the Tucson-replacing ix35 compact SUV, the Getz-bolstering i20 light hatch and the YF-codenamed Sonata medium sedan successor.

Having shattered HMC's initial Australian market share target of 5.5 per cent for 2009, Mr McCann told GoAuto that Hyundai's current sales growth rate was not sustainable and that he did not expect HMCA sales to increase again in 2010.

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