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Kia Motors Announces Executive-Level Appointments At U.S. Manufacturing Plant and Headquarters

Posted on January 6th, 2014 by Patrick Sands

Promotions Further Kia’s Long-Term Strategy to Concentrate on Quality,  Strengthen the Brand and Elevate the Ownership Experience

  • Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia elevates Randy Jackson to senior vice president, human resources and administration; Stuart Countess to vice president, quality sub-division


  • Kia Motors America promotes Tim Chaney to vice president, marketing communications; Orth Hedrick to vice president, product planning


(West Point, GA.) Jan. 6, 2014 – With 2014 marking Kia Motors’ 20th anniversary in the U.S., Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) and Kia Motors America (KMA) today announced several promotions to support the growing needs of both organizations as the brand’s product portfolio, customer base and units in operation continue to expand.


At KMMG, Randy Jackson has been named senior vice president, HR and administration, and Stuart Countess has been elevated to vice president, quality sub-division.  At KMA, Tim Chaney has been promoted to vice president of marketing communications, and Orth Hedrick is now vice president, product planning.


“Following a year which saw the arrival of seven all new or significantly redesigned vehicles – including updated versions of the U.S.-built* Optima and Sorento – Randy, Stuart, Tim and Orth have and will continue to play important roles in the growth and maturation of the Kia brand and their promotions are well-deserved,” said Byung Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of KMA and KMMG.


Randy Jackson joined KMMG in 2007 as the first American hired at the plant.  Since his arrival, KMMG has hired more than 3,000 team members and successfully launched three shifts.  Jackson has also led the effort to cultivate the “Kia Way” philosophy, which emphasizes a one-system one-team approach based on trust, mutual respect and effective two-way communication.


Stuart Countess, who joined KMMG in 2008, now oversees overall vehicle quality as well as supplier quality, process quality, customer satisfaction, warranty and ISO/TS certifications for Business Management Systems.


Tim Chaney, who has more than 28 years of automotive experience and joined KMA in April 2001, will continue to oversee and execute marketing communications strategies as before, while concentrating on continued efforts for brand growth and familiarity, product awareness and purchase consideration.  He has played a key role in a number of high-profile initiatives, including Kia’s position as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA, and will continue to report to Michael Sprague, KMA’s executive vice president, marketing & communications.


Orth Hedrick, who has more than 28 years of automotive experience, will continue to oversee current and future product portfolios in the U.S.  Hedrick joined KMA in October 2009 as director of product planning and has overseen the development of more than a dozen new vehicles, including the award-winning Optima midsize sedan, the totally transformed second-generation Soul, and the upcoming K900 flagship rear-wheel-drive sedan.


In addition to the executive-level appointments, KMMG’s James Watson also received a promotion to director, production sub-division.  Watson joined KMMG in 2008 and is now responsible for overseeing vehicle production and plant maintenance.


* The Sorento and Optima GDI (EX Trims and certain LX Trims only) and GDI Turbo are built in the United States from U.S. and globally sourced parts. 


About Kia Motors America

Kia Motors America (KMA) is the marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, South Korea.  KMA proudly serves as the “Official Automotive Partner” of the NBA and LPGA and surpassed the 500,000 annual sales mark for the second consecutive year in 2013 following the launch  of seven all-new or significantly redesigned vehicles.  KMA offers a complete line of vehicles, including the flagship K900 rear-drive sedan, Cadenza premium sedan, Sorento CUV, Soul urban passenger vehicle, Sportage compact CUV, Optima midsize sedan, Optima Hybrid, the Forte compact sedan, Forte5 and Forte Koup, Rio and Rio 5-door sub-compacts and the Sedona minivan, through a network of more than 765 dealers across the United States.


Information about Kia Motors America and its full vehicle line-up is available at its website – www.kia.com. For media information, including photography, visit www.kiamedia.com.  To receive custom email notifications for press releases the moment they are published, subscribe at https://www.kiamedia.com/us/en/newsalert.


About KMMG

Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) is the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, Korea. With an annual capacity of 360,000 units, KMMG is located on 2,200 acres in West Point, Georgia, and began mass production on Nov. 16, 2009. KMMG is home to the Sorento CUV and the Optima mid-size sedan, two of the brand’s top selling models in the U.S.



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