Butterfield, 48, replaces Dick Macedo, who retired in April after eight years with Kia, He spent the last three as executive vice president.
Macedo helped launch the brand in the United States in 1993 as director of marketing. During his tenure as executive vice president, which started in 1998, Kia's U.S. sales nearly doubled. Macedo also oversaw expansion of the brand's product portfolio. A minivan is slated for the 2002 model year.
Butterfield, a 25-year industry veteran, comes to Kia from Ford Motor Co., where he most recently was assigned to Lincoln-Mercury. Previously, Butterfield spent 11 years with Volvo Cars of North America Inc. in a variety of executive roles, including executive vice president of the car business unit.
Through September, Kia's 2001 sales have increased 27.4 percent over the same period a year ago. Sales are on track to exceed 200,000 units for the year for the first time in the United States.