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Cole moves from Toyota to Kia as Philpott heads for Frankfurt

Michael Cole, Toyota GB sales director, will become managing director of Kia Motors UK in August.

Paul Philpott, KM UK’s present boss, will become Kia Motors Europe’s chief operating officer.

Cole and Philpott worked together at Toyota GB, when Philpott was commercial director.

Cole has spent 15 years with Toyota and is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.

Philpott told AM: “He’s just the right character for the job and he’s been clear that the importance of the relationship with dealers will continue to be of major importance.”

One senior Toyota dealer descried Cole as “a strong communicator” and “good news for Kia’s dealers”.

Kia’s scrappage focus is woinning sales for Picanto and Rio. 

However, Philpott said he wanted dealers to ensure non-scrappage business was still pushing forward.

He said: “We need to keep pushing the larger models and the scrappage scheme has definitely helped to generate momentum in the showroom, but it’s still just the icing on
the cake.”

Toyota GB is expected to appoint Cole’s replacement internally. Some dealers tip Belinda Poole, Lexus GB director, as a strong contender.

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