Auto Industry Veteran Oversaw Kia’s Sales Growth in Europe Since 2012
IRVINE, Calif., May 29, 2018 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced the appointment of Michael Cole to the role of chief operating officer and executive vice president. Cole – the chief operating officer of Kia Motors Europe since November 2012 – will serve as the central point of contact for all sales, marketing, service and corporate and product planning functions in the U.S., and will report to KMA’s president and CEO, Sean Yoon.
In his leadership role with Kia Motors Europe, Cole oversaw 40-percent sales growth, outpacing the 27-percent growth in the recovering European market. Prior to that, he served as managing director of Kia Motors (UK) and led the wholly-owned subsidiary to several sales records and through a period of sustained new product activity.
“Kia’s sales, market share and brand awareness increased dramatically across Europe under Michael Cole’s leadership and his wealth of knowledge and experience will serve our U.S. operations well as we continue to sharpen the focus on retail sales,” said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia Motors America. “We have an aggressive slate of new and redesigned product launches scheduled for the next 18 months, and I look forward to working with Michael to increase demand for Kia’s award-winning vehicles in the United States.”
With over 30 years of automotive industry experience, Michael’s career also includes corporate and field-based roles with Toyota and retail experience with one of the UK’s largest Ford dealers.
“I am delighted to take up my new position at Kia Motors America and for the opportunity to work with the company’s team members and dealers. Working together, our goal is to deliver the sales growth and brand reputation enhancement that our great products and services deserve,” said Cole. “My experience in Europe demonstrates what Kia can achieve, and our future success in the U.S. will be driven by a similar focus on our key strengths of world-class design, quality and reliability, technology and safety, and a promise to offer our customers the best purchase and ownership experience.”
About Kia Motors America
Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America continues to top quality surveys and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands and 50 Best Global Green Brands by Interbrand. Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and LPGA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly built in West Point, Georgia.*
For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com. To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX, SX & Limited and certain LX Trims only) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.