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Paul Philpott appointed Chief Operating Officer

02.06.2009

• Paul Philpott moves from successful turn-round of Kia UK operation to lead new focus on growth across Europe
• Appointment marks a major commitment to the future of the Kia brand across Europe, says President Sun-Young Kim

Kia Motors Europe is delighted to announce that Paul Philpott has been appointed as Chief Operating Officer following a major re-organisation of the Korean company’s European Head Office under President Sun-Young Kim.

Mr Philpott moves to the Kia headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, from his role as Managing Director of Kia Motors (UK), where he has re-built the operation on a retail and dealer focussed strategy since his arrival in February 2007. During that time the UK subsidiary’s performance has seen a dramatic improvement, with retail market share up from 1.4% in 2006 to 2.3% in 2009 and Kia advancing to the seventh ‘most valuable franchise to hold’ in the latest NFDA Dealer Attitude survey.

Arriving in Frankfurt during August, Mr Philpott will be responsible for all of Kia’s pan-European operations including sales, marketing, and aftersales and will manage relations with the company’s manufacturing operations in Zilina, Slovakia where the cee’d and Sportage are built to the highest quality, enabling Kia to offer an industry-leading seven year warranty.

Announcing the appointment, President Kim commented: “In the UK, Mr Philpott has clearly shown how to effectively turn around a business that was on the wrong track and his ability to motivate a dealer network to deliver an outstanding experience for Kia customers. He has achieved tremendous things in the UK – not least helping Kia to become ‘Carmaker of the Year’ at this year’s AM Awards.

“He brings unrivalled experience and expertise to Kia Motors Europe that I am confident will help lead the brand to great success during the next period in Kia’s development,” added President Kim.

Mr Philpott said: “This is a great opportunity for me and a major challenge as Europe is very diverse with many different markets with their own traditions and market conditions. I believe Kia has the potential to be one of Europe’s leading retail brands. Our high quality, good value products are just what motorists want today and in the future as the Continent emerges from economic recession.

“Our product plan for the next few years is unrivalled in the industry – within three years our oldest product will be the recently launched Soul urban crossover! We will be entering new segments, revitalising existing models and bringing a third product to our Slovakia plant. This gives us an unrivalled opportunity to build our reputation as a leading mainstream brand in the minds of European dealers and consumers,” he added.

Married with two children, Mr Philpott, 42, graduated in Finance at Loughborough

University, and spent 12 months in the financial sector before joining Ford Motor Company in 1988. After nine years in Ford’s UK Sales and Marketing Division, he moved to Toyota as General Manager, Marketing. He was appointed Marketing Director in 1999 and in 2003 became Commercial Director with responsibility for all of Toyota’s commercial operations in the UK – sales, marketing, aftersales and logistics.

Mr Philpott was awarded the first automotive industry ‘Rising Stars’ award in 2005.