LOS ANGELES -- Hyundai Motor America has named Chris Perry the interim head of its marketing department as it begins a search for a new vice president.
Perry, 49, will replace Joel Ewanick, who left today to take the post of vice president of marketing for Nissan Division.
Chris Hosford, a Hyundai spokesman, said, “We'll definitely miss” Ewanick. “He made a lot of great contributions, but having said that, we have good bench strength in our marketing department.”
Hosford said “it's certainly possible” that Perry, a 12-year veteran of the company, could be picked as the new vice president.
Perry's previous job was director of marketing and advertising. Many dealers have credited him with being a key player in some of Hyundai's new marketing ideas.
Ewanick joined Hyundai in 2007. He is credited with developing Hyundai's assurance program and was known for spending a lot of his time working with focus groups to determine how to get closer to the consumer.
His strategy is working. Hyundai's sales, market share, loyalty and consideration are growing.
Hyundai was one of three automotive brands to improve sales in the U.S. market last year with a gain of 8 percent in an overall market that plunged 21 percent. Subaru and Hyundai affiliate Kia were the other two gainers in 2009 over 2008.