Kia drafts Toyota sales director as MD

Kia Motors UK has appointed Toyota GB sales director, Michael Cole, to the role of managing director.

He replaces Paul Philpott who has been promoted to the position of chief operating officer at Kia Motors Europe.

Cole will take up the position in early August. He has worked at Toyota for 15 years, joining in 1995.

He has held a number of field-based roles in business management and area sales before taking on office roles within Toyota Financial Services and Fleet Sales.

He then moved to a marketing role in 2001 as manager of sales and market planning before becoming southern region general manager in 2002 and general manager, after sales in 2003.

Earlier this year Kia Motors revealed plans to grow its digital spend by 50% and overhaul its website as part of its strategy to boost brand awareness in the UK.

The Korean car manufacturer has this year increased its digital marketing budget to account for around 25% of its overall spend. According to Nielsen Media Research it spent £18.8m in advertising in the year to November 2008.

Cole says: “Central to my determination is that in the UK, customers will recognise Kia as a desirable volume car brand which delivers high quality, good value and the service they deserve.”

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