10/31/19 ID: 15505

30-Year Automotive Veteran to Lead Kia Motors America’s Business Operations

IRVINE, Calif., October 31, 2019 – Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced the appointment of Michel Cole as president, effective November 11th. Cole has served as KMA’s chief operating officer and executive vice president since joining the company from Kia Motors Europe in May 2018.

At KMA, Cole has played a vital role in the successful launch of several all-new and refreshed models, including the Telluride SUV, as well as the rollout of Kia’s “Give It Everything” brand philosophy. In his new role, Cole will lead KMA’s business operations and report to Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia Motors North America.

“Michael Cole has helped reintroduce the Kia brand in the U.S. and Kia has outperformed the industry through the first three quarters of 2019. Under his guidance, Kia will continue to raise awareness and grow sales and market share in the United States,” said Yoon, who oversees regional operations in North America, including U.S., Canada and Mexico sales as well as manufacturing in the U.S. and Mexico.

Cole joined KMA with a wealth of Kia-specific experience, including overseeing the brand’s performance in Europe as chief operating officer. 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. With over 30 years of automotive industry experience, Michael’s career also includes corporate and field-based roles with Toyota.

About Kia Motors America

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Kia Motors America has been the highest ranked mass market brand in initial quality for five consecutive years according to J.D. Power**, and is recognized as one of the 100 Best Global Brands by Interbrand.  Kia serves as the "Official Automotive Partner" of the NBA and offers a complete range of vehicles sold through a network of nearly 800 dealers in the U.S., including cars and SUVs proudly assembled in West Point, Georgia.*

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*The Telluride, Sorento and Optima (excluding Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid) are assembled in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.

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