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Cho-sen one: Joonsu (James) Cho will replace Ben Hur as CEO of Kia Motors Australia after the latter spent just nine months at the helm.

KIA Motors Australia (KMAu) has announced its CEO Woong (Ben) Hur will depart his post after nine months on the job, and will be replaced by Joonsu (James) Cho, who starts the role effective immediately.

Mr Hur, who was appointed KMAu CEO in December, will return to Seoul and assume the role of leader of the North and Latin American support group, as part of Kia’s global restructure.

Before coming to Australia, Mr Hur spearheaded Kia Motors Germany for two years, and before that served as executive director of Kia Motors Russia from 2013 to 2016.

Mr Cho arrives in Australia having spent nearly two years as team leader for the Kia Western Europe support team, and before that he spent six years as chief executive co-ordinator for Kia United Kingdom.

He has 26 years of experience in the car industry after starting at Hyundai Motor Company in 1992, graduating from Michigan State University with an MBA.

In joining the company, Mr Cho praised the work of his predecessors.

“I am excited by the opportunity and looking forward to continuing the outstanding work of those who have gone before me,” he said.

Through the first eight months of 2018, local Kia sales have grown by 7.6 per cent to 40,371 units, helped by a resurgent Picanto micro hatch and the arrival of the Stinger sports sedan.

Yearly sales of the South Korean brand have swelled in recent years, climbing from 28,005 registrations in 2014 to 54,737 in 2017.

By Robbie Wallis