Hyundai Motor America has named Steve Wilhite, currently head of global marketing at Nissan Motor, as chief operating officer responsible for strategic development, sales, marketing, communications, parts and service.

He will report directly to president and CEO Ok Suk (Owen) Koh.

Noted Koh: "[Wilhite] is known for his innovative and creative marketing approaches. However, also invaluable will be both his automotive retail sales experience and non-automotive marketing background which will be an immense help in driving the growth of our brand and presence in America."

Wilhite has previously headed marketing at Nissan North America and worldwide marketing communications at Apple, and was the senior marketing executive at Volkswagen of America, where he led development of the "Drivers Wanted" campaign and launch of the new Beetle. He has also held senior management posts in the retail motor industry after beginning his automotive career at Ford.

He starts at Hyuindai's Fountain Valley, California, headquarters on 16 August 16.