Kia gives greater autonomy to top managers at its three regional headquarters, including North America, as part of a global business reorganization.
The South Korean automaker says the organizational changes within its overseas operations will let managers in each of its three regions – North America, Europe and India – take charge of matters involving local output and sales networks.
The changes at Irvine, CA-based Kia Motors North America and Kia Motors Europe take effect July 2.
Hyundai Motor Group, which owns Kia, says in a statement, “As the business environments for carmakers are rapidly changing and automakers now face fiercer competition, Hyundai and Kia have decided to allow the regional operations centers to make quick changes to reflect vehicle demand and make timely sales-related decisions in the major markets.”
Currently, the two automakers’ regional offices have had to seek approval from their headquarters in Seoul and have not been allowed to make key decisions on local production and sales networks, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reports.
The North American operation will cover the company’s production hubs for the Americas, Kia Motors Mfg. Georgia, and Kia Motors Mexico, as well as three sales units – Kia Motors for the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It will be led by Executive Vice President Byung-kwon Rhim.
Each regional unit’s responsibilities will extend across the business, including product planning, marketing, sales and manufacturing. Each regional headquarters also will have divisions for planning, finance, products and customer experience.
Kia’s European headquarters will expand Kia Motors Europe’s role beyond sales operations, bringing under its wing Kia Motors Slovakia. Yong-kew Park, now senior vice president for European operations at corporate headquarters, will be promoted to executive vice president to lead the unit.