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New president for Kia Motors Australia

New chief: Chong Woo (Charlie) Kim has been appointed to the post of president and CEO of Kia Motors Australia.

Charlie Kim steps up as Kia’s new CEO in Australia as MK Kim heads to Dubai

Kia logo14 Nov 2011

By TERRY MARTIN

KIA Motors Australia has announced the appointment of Chong Woo (Charlie) Kim as its new president and CEO.

Previously co-ordinating director of sales for the Australian subsidiary of the South Korean car-maker, Mr Kim replaces Min Kun (MK) Kim, who has been appointed president and CEO of Kia’s Middle East and Africa division, based in Dubai.

Charlie Kim brings more than two decades’ experience to the role, and has worked in Australia as a co-ordinating director since June 2009.

He held a similar role in Germany from 2002 to 2006, and is also a former general manager for the Middle East and Africa region (2006-09).

“I am excited, honoured and very pleased that this opportunity has come my way in a market as vibrant and challenging as that in Australia,” Mr Kim said.

Kia’s Middle East and Africa region generates around 300,000 sales a year for the Korean brand and was previously overseen by Brandon Yea, who has moved to a similar role with Kia in Europe.

 center imageLeft: Outgoing president and CEO of Kia Motors Australia MK Kim.

MK Kim described the move to Dubai as “very exciting and challenging” but said “it is not without regrets that I am leaving Australia”.

“It is not easy to be leaving when the plans and goals we have set in place are beginning to bear fruit, but I am confident that my replacement and the management team I leave behind will continue along the path to greater success,” he said.

MK Kim has more than 24 years’ experience with Kia Motors and parent Hyundai Motor Co, and moved to the top job at the Australian division in January 2010. He replaced Tak Uk (Terry) Im, who was promoted to president and CEO of Kia Motors in Russia.

Although restricted by limited supply of popular models, Kia sales in Australia are up 3.4 per cent to the end of October this year to be at 20,828 units YTD.

As GoAuto has reported, Kia is striving to achieve a record 25,000 sales come December 31, and has forecast 30,000-plus sales for 2012.

By mid-decade, it hopes to be around the 55,000 mark on the back of a continued rollout of redesigned models, new entrants and increased supplies of its volume sellers.

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