Sprague: "point of contact" as COO

Sprague: "point of contact" as COO

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine has named Jang Won Sohn president and chief executive to replace Byung Mo Ahn, who will become a company advisor.

Sohn previously served as a senior vice president at parent Kia Motors Corp. in South Korea.

Michael Sprague, Kia Motors America’s executive vice president of sales and marketing, has been appointed chief operating officer and executive vice president, a new position.

Sprague will “serve as the central point of contact for all sales, marketing, service and product planning functions,” according to the company.

Ahn, along with the title of group vice chairman, also was chief executive of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia.

He will be replaced in that role by Hyun Jong Shin, who was promoted from chief operating officer there.

Kia sold 580,234 vehicles in the U.S. last year, up 8.4% from 2013.