Mazda Motor Europe has named Olivier Sermeus managing director for Belgium and Luxembourg, where the automaker will commence operations of a new national sales company on 2 April 2007.

Sermeus, 40, moves to Mazda from Kia's Belux organisation, where he was also managing director for Belgium and Luxembourg. Previously he was managing director of MG Rover and director of sales and marketing at KBC Autolease. He is Belgian and, like so many European automaker executives, multi-lingual - he speaks Dutch, English and French fluently.

"We are delighted to welcome Olivier onboard," said Philip Waring, vice president for sales at Mazda Motor Europe. "He has management experience in the automotive sector in Belux where he successfully headed an Asian automobile manufacturer. We are confident that he will lead our new organisation there to the next level of success."