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KMA, KMMG CEO Byung Mo Ahn Named Vice Chairman of Kia

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Byung Mo Ahn

Byung Mo Ahn

This week, Kia Motors Corporation announced that longtime company man Byung Mo Ahn will assume the role of Vice Chairman, effective immediately. As group vice chairman and the CEO of Kia Motors America (KMA) and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), Ahn will serve as one of the driving forces for a brand that is looking to revitalize its image with new products such as the Soul EV and the K900, the brand’s first foray into the world of luxury sedans.

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Byung Mo Ahn joins Kia CEO Lee Hyoung-keun in the vice chairman position, making Ahn and Lee the company’s two most decorated officials. According to Automotive News, Byung Mo Ahn will not obtain a seat on Kia’s board of directors and will report to Chung Mong-koo, the chairman of Hyundai Motor Group.

Since Ahn took over as KMMG group president and CEO in 2008, company sales have nearly doubled and the West Point plant has manufactured more than 1.2 million vehicles. The best-selling Kia Optima is manufactured out of KMMG; 155,893 Optimas sold in 2013, marking an all-time sales record for a single Kia nameplate.

Byung Mo Ahn’s role will be to ensure that the brand’s growth in its second-largest market—the United States—continues into the foreseeable future. Kia is celebrating its 20th year in America this year, making Ahn’s appointment to Vice Chairman a particularly timely one, given how vital he has been to the brand’s success within the US.

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