Michael Sprague is now the executive vice president of sales and marketing of Kia Motors America replacing Tom Loveless. The move is part of a restructuring intended to support Kia’s “long-term strategy and continued growth in the U.S. market,” according to Byung Mo Ahn, group president and chief executive of Kia Motors America.
"On behalf of KMA, we thank Tom for his contributions to Kia's growth in the U.S., and we wish him success in all his future endeavors." Sprague will be in charge of overseeing all sales and marketing activities. Kia’s U.S. retail development efforts will also report to Sprague. In a statement, Kia has credited Sprague for the launch of 16 all-new or revamped models while increasing "consumer awareness, perception and consideration for the brand via expanded marketing activities."
Sprague was able to expand Kia's profile through Super Bowl advertising and a marketing campaign for the Soul subcompact that featured hamsters. Under him, Kia has inked high-profile sports marketing agreements with the National Basketball Association and LPGA.
Loveless joined Kia in 2007 as vice president of sales, leading Kia’s sales operation through a period of intensive growth that allowed it to set annual US sales records in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He was also able to make Kia’s US market share grow from 1.9 percent in 2007 to 3.8 percent in 2012, before it dropped to 3.4 percent in 2013. Kia posted a 4-percent drop in US sales in 2013 to 535,179 units. [source: Kia]