Hyundai Motor UK president and chief executive Tony Whitehorn will step-down from his post after 13 years at the helm of the Korean manufacturer.
An official statement issued by the brand revealed Whitehorn’s plans to leave his current post at the end of the year, adding that he will continue in a role as an “executive advisor” for the first part of 2019 to assist with the transition to the new management.
Hyundai’s statement said: “We are very sorry to announce that Tony Whitehorn has decided to stand down from his role as president and chief executive of Hyundai Motor UK at the end of this year after 13 very successful years with the company.
“He will continue working for the business as Executive Advisor for the first part of 2019 to assist with the transition to the new management.”
The statement added: “A new managing director will be appointed and will be the subject of a further announcement.”
Whitehorn, who spoke to delegates in the packed Future Visions seminar during last month’s Automotive Management Live 2018 car dealer expo, joined Hyundai Motor UK as managing director in 2005.
In 2011, he became the first non-Korean in the history of Hyundai Motor Europe to be promoted as president and chief executive.
During his time with the brand Whitehorn has overseen its rapid expansion in the UK, as it went from selling roughly 28,000 units a year in 2008 to 56,000 in 2009 following the success of the Government’s Scrappage Scheme.
Hyundai’s statement said: “The business has continued on an upward trajectory ever since with Whitehorn and his team guiding the company from 23rd to one of the top ten carmakers in the UK achieving sales of over 93,000 units last year (2017).”
Whitehorn also led Hyundai’s push into online new car sales and high-footfall shopping mall store locations in partnership with Rockar.
A first at Kent’s Bluewater shopping centre in 2014 was followed by a second at the Westfield shopping centre, at Stratford, in December 2015.
Around 250,000 people visit Hyundai’s stores each year and each facility generates around 750 vehicle sales annually, according to Whitehorn.