Hyundai Motor America has announced a continuation of a reorganisation that began late this year by appointing W. Gerald (Jerry) Flannery as interim president and CEO, effective immediately. He succeeds Dave Zuchowski who will be leaving the company.

The resignation of Zuchowski comes as the company struggles to hit sales nd profitability targets.

Flannery, who has been with Hyundai since 1987 and is responsible for all legal matters in the US, will retain his duties as chief legal and safety officer. He is widely recognised as an authority on automotive product liability, regulatory and safety matters. His immediate focus will be enhancing the company's brands, accelerating change for growth and customer satisfaction opportunities in the US market.

"We appreciate Dave's decade of service to Hyundai, especially his leadership as president and CEO, which has made us a stronger organisation," Flannery said. "I look forward to working closely with our dealers, affiliates, senior management and our talented and hard-working employees across the country to realise Hyundai's full potential."

Since joining Hyundai during its infancy in 1987, Flannery has been instrumental in leading the company through periods of rapid change and positioning it for steady growth. Recently, he created Hyundai's first safety office in North America. Previously, Flannery was a senior attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at Ford Motor Company.

A search for Zuchowski's replacement will begin immediately, Hyundai says.