The Korean firm says Hargreaves has the ‘major task’ of building future fleet business to new levels as the brand aims for a long term annual sales volume in excess of 100,000 units a year.
Developing the strategy, processes and systems behind Kia’s UK fleet sales ambitions and used car operations – including the approved used scheme – will be Hargreaves’ responsibilities.
However, Hargreaves, 48, is the right man for the job. He joins from Motability Operations Limited where he was manufacturer account manager but brings with him extensive experience from a variety of roles with Citroen UK – most recently he was national fleet sales manager between 2005 and 2009.
Yaser Shabsogh, Kia’s sales director, said: ‘We are delighted to have someone with John’s experience joining us at what is a vital and exciting time.
‘Our fleet share has, in recent years, run well behind our retail share – 1.7 per cent in 2010 compared to more than four per cent – but as part of our future strategy we want to see fleet sales accounting for 40 per cent or more of our business.
‘If we are to achieve our longer-term goals then that kind of split will be essential but I am sure that John is the man to put in place the plans to deliver that kind of performance.’
Hargreaves added: ‘I have watched Kia’s development over the last five years with considerable interest and more than a little admiration. The brand has changed out of all recognition and is truly appealing right across the market – I am well aware of that from my time at Citroen and more recently with Motability.’
Hargreaves will take up his new role at Kia from February 8.