Kia Taps Butterfield

As the new marketing head of Kia Motors America prepares to step into his post on Nov. 1, he has pledged to do his homework before making any changes.

Former Ford executive Peter Butterfield, 48, takes the reins as evp of sales, marketing and fixed operations. He succeeds Dick Macedo, who left Kia in April.

“Kia is a growth company and a young company, and both are exciting to me,” Butterfield said. “It’s an op por tunity to have influence over a company that’s in the process of establishing itself as a real contender.”

The Korean car maker, with a U.S. base in Irvine, Calif., has seen sales have climb 37 percent over last year. It is now in the middle of cross-promoting the Sedona model and the Nov. 2 VHS/DVD release of the movie Shrek.

One of Butterfield’s first jobs will be to visit Kia’s regions and attend dealer meetings, starting Nov. 5.

Before joining Kia, Butterfield was transitioning to Lincoln Mercury from Volvo, where he last held the title of evp, car business unit. The 25-year automotive-indus try vet has held a variety of posts at Ford in consumer affairs, parts and service, sales and merchandising.

While he chaired a marketing group at Volvo from 1996-99, Butterfield described it as “an oversight function,” approving budgets and strategies. His new job marks the first time he has overseen an agency.

Butterfield said he didn’t anticipate a shift on Kia’s $120 million account with its agency of two years, davidandgoliath in Los Angeles, or media agency Optimum/OMD, Los Angeles and New York.

“As far as I’m concerned, everything is status quo,” he said.