New local boss flown in from Europe after Woong Hur returns to Seoul.

Kia Australia has a new boss, Joonsu ‘James’ Cho, who immediately succeeds Woong Hur as the Korean brand’s local chief executive officer.

Mr. Hur has left the Australian division just nine months into his tenure as president and CEO of Kia’s local arm, returning to the company’s Seoul headquarters as leader of the North and Latin America Support Group.

The move is part of a global restructure, according to Kia.

Joonsu Cho joins Kia Australia following a near-two-year stint as team leader for Kia Western Europe’s Support Team, and before that he was the chief executive coordinator for Kia UK.

Cho first joined parent Hyundai Motor Company in 1992 after graduating with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Michigan State University in the US.

“I am excited by the opportunity and looking forward to continuing the outstanding work of those who have gone before me,” Mr. Cho said.

Cho joins Kia Australia shortly after the launch of its two top-sellers – the all-new Cerato sedan and facelifted Sportage (above). The local division registered 4620 vehicles in August, marking a 2.5 per cent increase on the same month last year.

Year-to-date, Kia is up 7.6 per cent on the January-August period in 2017, building on the massive growth it posted last year.

In terms of upcoming products, the Korean brand is expected to launch an updated Rio light hatch later this year, offer a limited-run Picanto X-Line, and introduce the hatchback version of the new Cerato – the latter incorporating the launch of the turbocharged GT variant as well.