Kia Motors appoints chief ahead of UK sales drive

Kia Motors (UK) Limited has appointed Byong Kwang Jang as president.

Kia Motors (UK) Limited has appointed Byong Kwang Jang as president.

Jang joins the UK division from Kia’s head office in Seoul, South Korea, where he was director of export sales group 1. Former UK president Se-Il Lee is returning to Korea.

Jang joined Kia in 2004, and has also worked for Hyundai Motor Company. He says: “Kia has enjoyed phenomenal growth in the UK over the past few years. Europe is strategically important for the company and the UK is one of our primary markets.”

Jang intends to ensure Kia UK remains at the forefront of European growth. The company is seeking to consolidate its recent performance by selling 45,000 vehicles in the UK in 2006. It aims to reach annual UK sales of 100,000 within four years.

Kia is opening a production plant in Zilina, Slovakia, this year, which will start shipping cars to the UK in 2007.

Jang comments: “With the arrival of four new or improved vehicles this year – the new Magentis saloon, Sorento, Sedona and Carens – we shall have one of the youngest product ranges in the UK new car market. The Picanto, launched in May 2004, will be the oldest vehicle in our line-up.”

Kia Motors recently restructured its sales operations following the departure of sales director Howard Slade, who had been at the car company for more than four years (MW December 15, 2005). The restructured department is now being headed by Alex Smith, who was promoted to commercial director.

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