Kia Motors Europe has appointed Michael Cole as its chief operating officer with effect from November 19.
The Kia UK managing director and former Toyota executive will lead the further growth of the Korean brand throughout Europe alongside president Brandon Yea and takes up the role relinquished by Paul Philpott who returned to the UK operation in July this year as the first non-Korean President at any Kia subsidiary in Europe.
Kia is expecting to reach over 65,000 sales this year.
Cole said: "I am sad to be leaving such a good team in the UK but I know that in Paul Philpott's hands the UK operation can only continue to strength to strength."
Philpott said: "Michael is the ideal person to take on the responsibility of growing Kia's brand appeal and commercial strength in a European market that continues to face some very big economic challenges.
"He will find a strong team and organisation at Frankfurt and I know, from my own experience, that all of the European subsidiaries and distributors will welcome his cool, calm and reasoned approach to the car business."
Kia said a replacement for Cole is now being sought. In the meantime Philpott will continue to oversee the UK business as well as managing the "day to day" responsibilities.