Kia Motors Takes Over UK Car Distribution

Kia Motors Corporation has completed its move to takeover sales, marketing and distribution of its cars in the UK. The new company called Kia Motors (UK) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kia Motors Corporation, Korea’s second largest car manufacturer. Kia has enjoyed three consecutive record sales years in the UK.

Kia Motors UK replaces Kia Cars (UK) Limited, owned by MCL Limited, who has been the distributor of Kia cars in the UK since 1991.

Commenting on this announcement, the new Chief Executive Officer of Kia Motors (UK) Ltd., CK Lee said: "Having the direct backing of the manufacturer gives Kia the platform and opportunity to plan and invest in the Kia brand in the UK. This will ensure that Kia cars will become a more regular sight on UK roads over the coming years. This is a very exciting and opportune time for Kia and its dealer network. Our range is stronger than it has ever been and with new products like the new Carens turbodiesel mini-MPV and Sorento SUV coming forward, gives Kia access to new, exciting and fast growing market segments. This all adds up to a bright future for Kia in the UK."

The new company will remain in the same office in Tunbridge Wells, for the foreseeable future. Kia Motors UK has also entered supply agreements with other MCL Group companies to ensure a smooth transition between the two companies.

All staff will be transferring to the new company except Managing Director, Mark Quinn. He has decided to step aside as Managing Director after successful completion of the negotiations between MCL Group and KMC, and with Kia in a strong position in the UK market, he feels that the time is right to move on.

Mark Quinn explained: "Kia has come on in leaps and bounds, especially since 1999, and now with direct input from the manufacturer is poised for even greater success. However, it feels like the right time to move onto new challenges. Kia Motors Corporation have been very persuasive in their attempts to get me to stay on as MD in the new company, but I am convinced that this is the right thing for me personally and for Kia to continue forward. That does not mean that it has been an easy decision to make."

Chief Executive Officer C K Lee commented on this surprise announcement: "I am very well aware of the commitment and success that Mark Quinn has brought to Kia since he joined in 1997. I applaud the immensely valuable contribution that he has made at this important stage of Kia’s development in the UK market. While I haven’t had long to get to know Mark, I am obviously disappointed by his decision but understand and respect the choice that he has made."

Published 7 August 2002 Melanie Carter

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