IRVINE, Calif. — Kia Motors America (KMA) president and CEO Byung Mo Ahn today named Tom Loveless, Michael Sprague and John Yoon to executive vice president positions. During their time at Kia, Loveless (sales), Sprague (marketing and communications) and Yoon (human resources/administration, legal and diversity relations) have overseen key business units and helped Kia become the fastest-growing car company in the U.S.
“Kia Motors has undergone a dramatic transformation over the past several years, with Tom, Michael and John each playing important roles in the brand’s success and momentum,” said Ahn. “One of our company’s core values is ‘people,’ and we are dedicated to recognizing and rewarding outstanding performance and providing team members with opportunities to grow. Our entire organization congratulates Tom, Michael and John for their well-deserved promotions.”
Tom Loveless joined KMA in 2007 as vice president of sales and is responsible for all retail and fleet sales operations, as well as all distribution and logistics. Since his arrival, the Kia brand has seen consistent growth that includes best-ever year-end market share totals each year and achieving 21 consecutive monthly sales records through May 2012.
Michael Sprague has served as KMA’s vice president of marketing & communications since 2008 and oversees all aspects of marketing and communications, including: brand marketing, advertising, retail marketing, sponsorship, digital, corporate planning and public relations. During his tenure, consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand have increased as Kia’s marketing activities expanded to include Super Bowl advertising, the award-winning hamster marketing campaigns for the Soul urban passenger vehicle, and high-profile sports marketing initiatives including Kia’s “Official Automotive Partner” relationships with the NBA and LPGA.
John Yoon, who joined KMA in 2000 as vice president of human resources/administration and general counsel, is responsible for overall supervision and management of KMA’s legal, human resources, administration and diversity relations departments. Yoon oversaw the design and construction of Kia’s 21.7 acre corporate campus in Irvine, Calif. – a $130 million investment that includes KMA’s corporate headquarters and the state-of-the-art Kia Design Center America – which opened in 2008 and was recently honored by Architectural Record with a “Good Design is Good Business” award.
In addition to the executive vice president appointments, the following KMA team members also received promotions to the position of executive director: Tim Chaney, (marketing communications), Bob Kuntze (distribution and logistics), Julie Kurcz (product quality), Adam Perlow (retail operations), Percy Vaughn (regional operations, southern region).
Kia’s Unprecedented Growth
Kia Motors is one of the world’s fastest moving global automotive brands; from 2009-2011 Kia launched more new vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker, and under the guidance of chief design officer Peter Schreyer earned a reputation as an industry leader in automotive styling. Kia Motors America’s full line of fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive cars and CUVs has earned critical acclaim and dramatically increased consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand. In 2011, KMA recorded its 17th consecutive year of market share growth, thanks in part to the largest increase of any major brand in perceived quality and the industry’s highest brand loyalty ranking. Kia’s U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, Georgia – KMMG – is responsible for the creation of more than 10,000 plant and supplier jobs and builds two of the company’s best-selling vehicles in the U.S. – the Sorento CUV and Optima midsize sedan*. Kia’s value and technology-laden lineup also includes the Sportage compact CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Optima Hybrid, Forte compact sedan, Forte 5-door compact hatchback, Forte Koup two-door coupe, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and Sedona minivan.
About Kia Motors America
Kia Motors America is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea. KMA offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 755 dealers throughout the United States and serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA. In 2011, KMA recorded its best-ever annual sales total and became one of the fastest growing car companies in the U.S. Kia is poised to continue its momentum and will continue to build the brand through design innovation, quality, value, advanced safety features and new technologies.
* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts.
 Based on 5-year cumulative growth between 12-month retail sales for periods ending April 2007 and April 2012 of all U.S. automotive brands
 Source: Automotive Lease Guide Spring 2011 Perceived Quality Study.
 Source: Experian Automotive Q2 2011 market analysis.
SOURCE Kia Motors America