Kia Motors Australia Chief Operating Officer, Tony Barlow, will leave the company on February 28 to pursue a new career opportunity within the automotive industry.
“In his three and a half years with Kia, Tony has contributed significantly to the building of our sales and brand presence in Australia, and he has left our company in a strong position to prosper even more going forward,” KMAu President and CEO SH Cho said. “I wish to personally thank him for his contribution and efforts, and his commitment to the Kia brand and culture.”
Mr Barlow said the decision to leave was not an easy one.
“It was a very difficult decision to make, but it is an extraordinary opportunity and a challenge I look forward to,” Mr Barlow said. “I leave Kia with considerable regret and enormous respect for Mr Cho and the organisation.”
Mr Barlow joined KMAu on September 1, 2010. His last day will be February 28.
Founded in 1944 as Kyungsung Precision Industry, Kia is currently Korea’s second largest car manufacturer and it’s oldest. From the company’s production of Korea’s first domestic bicycle, Kia moved on to producing Korea’s first motorcycle and the country’s first truck. Kia then became the first company in Korea to locally produce petrol car engines and the first domestic diesel engine. In 1979, Kia’s quality car production was recognised by the fact that two of the world’s leading European car makers chose the Korean car maker to build their ‘range topper’ models on their behalf – the Peugeot 604 and Fiat 132. But it was in the 1980s that Kia’s growth really took off. In 1986 Ford joined the list of car makers who looked to Kia to produce cars to be sold under their name, with the Festiva joining Ford’s line up first in the USA, then across the world, including in Australia for where Kia produced two generations of Ford’s entry-level car. Today, Kia produces a remarkably diverse range of vehicles sold in 190 countries around the world.
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Alyson MacDonaldP: 02-9701-1768