Paul Philpott has clear priorities in life. “What is important to me are my family and the future of Kia,” Philpott told Automotive News Europe. The married father of two has created substantial value for his employer.
After joining Kia as its UK chief in 2007, the Englishman turned around the brand’s UK business, boosting its market share to 2.3 percent in 2009 from 1.4 percent in 2006.
That success led to a promotion to Kia’s chief operating officer for Europe and a move to the carmaker’s European headquarters in Frankfurt in 2009. Philpott quickly set about the task of improving Kia’s new-car sales with bold decisions. In January 2010, he introduced a seven-year warranty on all cars the Korean brand sells in Europe. This move won Kia a lot attention and improved its brand awareness and sales. Philpott also started to roll out Kia’s new global corporate identity for the brand’s 2,000 European dealers.
As part of Kia’s plans to improve its dealer network in major European markets, Philpott also announced in June that the automaker will take over the importing and distribution of Kia vehicles in Italy from the independent dealer group Gruppo Koelliker.
Philpott has high ambitions for Kia in Europe. His goal is to boost European sales to 450,000 units by 2013 from 262,627 last year and probably around 300,000 this year.
Philpott has a lot of experience in the automotive industry. He worked for Ford Motor Co. for 11 years and for Toyota for nine years. He also has a good feeling for business figures. After graduating in finance from Loughborough University in England, he worked for 12 months in the financial sector.