Kia Motors Europe appoints new Chief Operating Officer, with Michael Cole to take up senior Kia role


Kia Motors Europe has appointed Emilio Herrera as its new Chief Operating Officer. He replaces Michael Cole, who is set to take up a senior role elsewhere in the global Kia Motors organisation. Mr. Herrera will be based at Kia’s European headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, working alongside the company’s president, Mr. Yong Kew Park.


Emilio Herrera will be responsible for sustaining the brand’s sales growth, as Kia targets more than 500,000 sales in Europe in 2018. He will also oversee the roll-out of a range of new advanced powertrain vehicles, with 16 new models planned for launch by 2025 – including an all-new fuel-cell electric vehicle in 2020.


Mr Herrera brings with him more than 20 years’ experience in the European automotive sector. He has held the role of Managing Director for Kia Motors Iberia since December 2012, during which time Kia has become the fastest-growing volume brand in Spain, with sales more than doubling between 2013 and 2017. Prior to this, he was Managing Director for Kia Motors Belgium. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1961, he graduated in 1984 in Linguistics and Communication from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, and speaks six languages.


Cole has been Chief Operating Officer for Kia Motors Europe since November 2012. He has overseen an unprecedented 40% sales growth for the Korean brand in Europe, outpacing the 27% growth in the recovering European market. In 2013, Cole’s first full year as COO, Kia Motors Europe sold 337,972 units and recorded a 2.7% market share. 472,125 sales in 2017 led to a 3.0% share of the European market, with momentum at the start of this year resulting in further growth and a 3.1% share in January and February 2018. Kia Motors will communicate further details of his new role at a later date.


Michael Cole commented: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Frankfurt, helping Kia grow its sales, market share and brand awareness across the region. I’d like to thank the team here and in all our European markets for their help and support over the last six years – it’s been a pleasure working with such a talented and dedicated group of people.”


On his appointment as COO of Kia Motors Europe, Emilio Herrera said: “Michael leaves Kia’s European business in a very strong position, and l look forward to working to maintain the company’s impressive growth in the region. A range of new cars and powertrains will give us fresh opportunities to grow sales and expand our market share even further in the coming years.”


Kia Motors Corporation ( – a maker of world-class quality vehicles for the young-at-heart – was founded in 1944 and is Korea's oldest manufacturer of motor vehicles. About 3 million Kia vehicles a year are produced at 14 manufacturing and assembly operations in five countries which are then sold and serviced through a network of distributors and dealers covering around 180 countries. Kia today has over 51,000 employees worldwide and annual revenues of over US$45 billion. It is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA – the governing body of the FIFA World Cup™. Kia Motors Corporation's brand slogan – "The Power to Surprise" – represents the company's global commitment to surprise the world by providing exciting and inspiring experiences that go beyond expectations.

Latest news
19 03

Kia to launch stylish new Ceed crossover

From the very beginning of Ceed development 15 years ago, Kia has taken an open-minded approach to potential body styles. Many have been considered, and, in creating the new Ceed range, Kia’s European designers have been given the freedom to explore many different possibilities.
08 03

Kia demonstrates electrification leadership with Geneva debuts for...

Kia Motors has staked its claim for leadership in advanced powertrain technology at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show with a display made up entirely of electrified vehicles.
28 02

Kia to reveal upgraded Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid crossovers in...

Kia Motors has made a number of improvements to the Niro, its best-selling electrified crossover range of ultra-low emission vehicles. The upgraded Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid models will make their global debut on 5 March 2019 at the Geneva International Motor Show.
14 02

Kia embarks on Electric Mission to explore electrified vehicle...

Kia Motors Europe is embarking on an ‘Electric Mission’ across the most advanced electrified car markets in Northern Europe, in partnership with automotive research consultancy World Shopper.