Hyundai Motor UK appoints Toyota GB supremo as managing director

Hyundai Motor UK has appointed Toyota GB operations director Tony Whitehorn as its new managing director.

Hyundai Motor UK has appointed Toyota GB operations director Tony Whitehorn (pictured) as its new managing director.

Whitehorn replaces David Walker, who left the company after 21 years earlier this year following its takeover by Hyundai’s European division (MW June 16).

Whitehorn, who joined Toyota in 1989, has also worked at British Leyland and Renault. He says he joins Hyundai at a “pivotal point of its development in the UK and across the world”.

Walker, who was UK managing director at Hyundai for 11 years, was one of three senior members of staff who did not transfer to the new business in July. The others were sales director John Lawrence and human resources and operations director Claire Balmforth. Walker has since been appointed as managing director of driving school BSM (MW July 21).

The takeover followed the acquisition of Hyundai UK’s parent company RAC by Aviva. The company was previously an independent distributor called Hyundai Car UK, but since the takeover by Hyundai Motor Europe has been known as Hyundai Motor UK.

Last year, Hyundai UK awarded its 12m advertising account to Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest after a pitch against Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO (MW February 12, 2004). The review was overseen by UK marketing director Jim Campbell, who is still with the company and will report directly to Whitehorn.

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