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New Kia exec seeks to define brand image

Peter Butterfield, 48, says he’s not a bit overwhelmed because he must fill two sets of executive shoes at a growing automaker.

On Thursday, Nov. 1, the 25-year industry veteran will become Kia Motors America’s executive vice president of sales, marketing and fixed operations. He will replace Dick Macedo, who retired in April as executive vice president of sales and marketing, and Lee Sawyer, who retired in June as senior vice president of fixed operations.

Fixed operations include parts, service and consumer affairs.

“One of the things we’re in the process of here is exactly defining Kia as a brand,” Butterfield said.

“We’ve got to have a clear vision of where we want to take the brand. I can help bring some consistency and focus on branding and move this company forward.”

Since August, Butterfield had overseen field operations for Lincoln Mercury.

Before that he spent 11 years with Volvo Cars of North America Inc., most recently serving as the exec-

utive vice president of the car business unit.

Butterfield said his biggest career achievement to date came when he was at Volvo.

“In the early ’90s, Volvo’s quality was threatened and CSI was down,” he said.

“In 1992-93, we came up with some CSI and incentive programs for dealers, really before anyone else in the industry. And we rebranded all dealerships to launch new models.”

Kia, an entry-level Korean brand with quirky advertising messages, is almost the exact opposite of Volvo, a luxury brand known for its quality and safety.

So how long will it take Butterfield to get his feet wet at Kia? “Two weeks,” he said.

Tags: Kia

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