Kia Motors America (KMA) has announced the appointment of Michael Cole to the role of chief operating officer (COO) and executive vice president. Cole – the chief operating officer of Kia Motors Europe since November 2012 – will serve as the central point of contact for all sales, marketing, service and corporate and product planning functions in the US, and will report to KMA's president and CEO, Sean Yoon.

In his leadership role with Kia Motors Europe, Cole oversaw 40-percent sales growth, outpacing the 27-percent growth in the recovering European market. Prior to that, he served as managing director of Kia Motors (UK) and led the wholly-owned subsidiary to several sales records and through a period of sustained new product activity.

"Kia's sales, market share and brand awareness increased dramatically across Europe under Michael Cole's leadership and his wealth of knowledge and experience will serve our US operations well as we continue to sharpen the focus on retail sales," said Sean Yoon, president and CEO, Kia Motors America. "We have an aggressive slate of new and redesigned product launches scheduled for the next 18 months, and I look forward to working with Michael to increase demand for Kia's award-winning vehicles in the United States."

Cole's career also includes corporate and field-based roles with Toyota and retail experience with one of the UK's largest Ford dealers.

"I am delighted to take up my new position at Kia Motors America and for the opportunity to work with the company's team members and dealers. Working together, our goal is to deliver the sales growth and brand reputation enhancement that our great products and services deserve," said Cole. "My experience in Europe demonstrates what Kia can achieve, and our future success in the U.S. will be driven by a similar focus on our key strengths of world-class design, quality and reliability, technology and safety, and a promise to offer our customers the best purchase and ownership experience."