- Kyung-Soo Lee to lead Europe`s fastest growing automotive brand
- Aims to triple sales by end of 2005
SEOUL July 15 2003 - Kia Motors has appointed Mr Kyung-Soo Lee as President of the company`s European operations. Mr Lee will oversee the introduction of a host of new Kia models, and guide the brand towards its goal of tripling European sales by the end of 2005 (compared to 2002).
"Kia is fully committed to Europe, and our results to date indicate the level of our support to that commitment," says Mr Lee. "Kia`s retail sales in Europe increased by 53 percent in the first six months of 2003. This reflects healthy demand for our off-road and leisure vehicles, as well as our traditional family cars. We are the fastest growing brand in Europe."
Kia Motors COO Yong-hwan Kim, head of the international business division, said of the appointment, "Kia has yet to realize our full potential in Europe. Kyung-Soo Lee is a very experienced executive and will make an important contribution to Kia`s success in this key strategic market."
Kia Motors plans to release 17 new vehicles onto the market by 2006, including an expanded range of diesel models. The company expects to increase the appeal of its range of passenger cars and recreational vehicles by developing products that are a more precise fit for European market segmentation.
In September this year the company will open a new research centre in Ruselsheim, Germany, shared with Kia`s sister company Hyundai Motors.
Kia Motors Europe is a financially independent subsidiary of Korea`s oldest and second largest car-maker. Established at the beginning of 2003, it acts as the European sales, marketing, and service arm of Kia Motors Corp. With its headquarters in Eschborn, Germany, it covers 23 markets in Europe.
"Kia is now beginning to establish itself securely in the European market place. We are sure that the arrival of exciting new models and new diesel engines will greatly enhance the appeal of Kia," concludes Mr Lee.
Founded in 1944, Kia Motors Corporation (www.kia.co.kr) is Korea`s oldest manufacturer of automobiles. A part of the Hyundai Automobile Group, the company currently sells more than one million vehicles per year worldwide and maintains a network of distributors that covers 190 countries. Kia Motors is the major sponsor of the Australian Tennis Open and the international sponsor of the Davis Cup for the Euro/Africa zone.