Bob Cosmai: New ad agency in Korea won't affect Hyundai's U.S. operations.
Officials of Hyundai Motor America insist the shift will not affect the company's U.S. advertising.
The Korea Times reported last month that the in-house agency will "control the marketing and communication activities of Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors" and other affiliates "at home and abroad."
The newspaper cited an unnamed Hyundai official.
Members of Hyundai's founding family, the Chungs, will be major shareholders in the new agency. It will be headed by the daughter of Hyundai Chairman Chung Mong-Koo, the oldest surviving son of the company's founder.
A U.S. Hyundai dealer read the article online and notified officials of Hyundai Motor America.
Hyundai Motor CEO Bob Cosmai says he conferred with officials of Hyundai Automotive Group and sent letters to dealers to tell them "it's not going to affect us at all."
Hyundai's U.S. ad agency, Richards Group of Dallas, does "great work for us," Cosmai says.
Several ad executives close to Hyundai say they aren't surprised by the latest move, citing a pattern of more centralized control. In January, Chung announced a new global brand management strategy for Hyundai and Kia. It included new global ad slogans developed internally in Korea.