Kia Names New U.S. Chief
Kia Motors Corp. has appointed Michael Cole to head its U.S. operations, effective Nov. 11.
Cole has been the unit’s chief operating officer and executive vice president since May 2018. Prior to this, he was COO of Kia Europe for six years. Cole’s 30-year career also includes a stint with Toyota.
Cole will continue to report to Sean Yoon, president and CEO of Kia Motors North America. Currently, Yoon also serves as president of Kia Motors America.
Cole’s appointment follows that of former Mazda executive Russel Wager, who was hired in July to head Kia America’s marketing efforts. Wager succeeded Saad Chehab, who left the carmaker earlier this summer.
Outside of a pickup truck, there is no vehicle that’s sold in greater units than the Toyota RAV4. So when they developed the new generation, they had a whole lot to consider.
Last year Buick sold 219,231 vehicles in the U.S.
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.