Artur Martins is now the marketing chief for Kia’s European operations, replacing Benny Oeyen who is leaving the carmaker in April 2014 for an undisclosed reason, the South Korean company said in a statement. Oeyen joined Kia in May 2009 as vice president of marketing after working 19 years for Ford, Mazda and Chrysler in Europe.
He was director of global product marketing and strategy for Chrysler in the United States before joining Kia. Prior to Kia, Martins was marketing executive manager for Volkswagen in Brazil. Before joining VW in 2011, Martins spent 16 years holding a number of senior marketing posts Fiat in Portugal and Alfa Romeo, Seat and Toyota in Spain. Martins will be based at Kia's European marketing, sales and service headquarters in Frankfurt.
"We are convinced that Artur Martins will help our brand develop a younger and more positive image in the coming years,'' Michael Cole, chief operating officer at Kia Europe, said in a statement.
Following years of repaid growth, Kia has seen its vehicle sales stalled in the slumping European vehicle market. Kia just managed to hike its market share by a percentage point to 2.8 percent in the first 11 months of 2013 in the EU and EFTA markets, according to industry association ACEA. During the period, sales surged 0.4 percent to 314,407 units in a total market that was down by almost 3 percent.
On his appointment, Martins commented: “I’m excited to take on this role at Kia Motors Europe and look forward to further developing the brand in Europe, supported by the dedicated and talented team here in Frankfurt. I believe that there are strong opportunities to drive growth in sales and market share thanks to the exceptional Kia product range that now exhibits distinctive design, world-class quality and excellent value for money.” [source: Kia]