Prior to joining Mitsubishi, Williams had worked as managing director at Daihatsu UK. He made a fast impression at Mitsubishi by realigning the company's pricing structure - just as the “rip-off Britain” campaign was reaching its height. Mitsubishi was one of the first manufacturers to bring prices down, and to make its pricing structure clearer to consumers.
This year Williams took over responsibility for Mitsubishi's company-owned dealerships in the UK, which moved into profit after a difficult 2001.
Williams' ability to boost sales will be put to good use at Kia. The Korean manufacturer has recently taken over its UK distributor, and has ambitious volume targets over the next few years based on the arrival of a host of new products.
“Kia has enjoyed significant success in the UK since 1999,” says C K Lee, president of Kia Motors UK on announcing Williams' appointment. “However, with an ever strengthening model line-up and the direct involvement of Kia Motors Corporation, it is time to implement strategies to take Kia's development to the next level. Paul Williams has the background and skills to take Kia rapidly up to a one per cent market share and beyond.”
Williams says the timing is just right for his move from Mitsubishi to the Korean marque.
“Kia's achievements in recent years have gained recognition across the industry,” he says. “However, the real potential for Kia is only just beginning to be realised in the UK. It is therefore a fantastic time to be joining a company at such an exciting stage in its development.”