The changes are part of the Korean carmaker’s plans to achieve its 2010 volume target of 100,000 annual sales in the UK.
Smith joined Kia in December 2003 as general manager of sales channel strategy responsible for developing business strategy, commercial programmes, production planning and analysis across the business.
In his new role he will be responsible for sales programmes, coordination of production and distribution together with the development of fleet programmes and used car programmes.
“Howard Slade has played a significant role in helping Kia UK to develop its presence in the market and has helped to build a dealer network that is capable of allowing us to take on the big names of the automotive business,” says Paul Williams, managing director of Kia UK.
Kia will now focus on bringing together strategic control of the production, supply and sales channels, allowing it to implement processes and structures designed to integrate the various activities.
“Alex Smith will face a major task in developing that over-arching strategy and I am confident that he will help is move the Kia brand successfully and profitability forward,” adds Williams.
Slade joined Kia in July 2001. As franchising manager he set in place a programme that saw Kia’s dealer network grow from 90 to the current 165.