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(LEAD) BMW replaces country manager for S. Korea operations

All News 20:19 December 06, 2017

(ATTN: CHANGES headline; ADDS 4th para on Kim's future role)

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- German carmaker BMW AG on Wednesday replaced the chief executive of its South Korean operations after the local government imposed a fine for falsifying documents required for domestic sales.

BMW Group Korea CEO Kim Hyo-joon will become representative director and chairman of BMW Group Korea from Jan. 1, and Han Sang-yun, the current CEO of BMW Group Malaysia, will take the helm at the Korean business as new president from March 1, the company said in a statement.

"Kim will assume responsibility for representing the Korean subsidiary of BMW Group as the CEO and Sangyun Han will take charge of overall business operations. BMW Group Korea is now set to embark on its management succession process," Hendrik von Kuenheim, senior vice president in charge of operations at Asia-Pacific and South Africa regions at BMW Group, said in the statement.

The company didn't clarify whether Kim would continue to serve as CEO at BMW Group Korea, though he won't carry the title with him from January.

BMW Group Korea CEO Kim Hyo-joon (Photo courtesy of BMW Group Korea) (Yonhap)
BMW Group Malaysia CEO Han Sang-yun (Photo courtesy of BMW Group Korea) (Yonhap)

Asked if there are any relations between the latest appointments and the fine imposed by the environment ministry, the company said the change is part of regular personnel reshuffling.

In November, the ministry imposed a fine worth 60.8 billion won (US$56 million) after it found the German luxury carmaker forged certain specifications or types of its vehicles' parts to make it look as if they meet local standards between 2010 and 2015.

"The fine has not been finalized because BMW is in the process to make an explanation about the case to the ministry," a company spokesman said over the phone.

BMW Group Korea said it will newly set up and strengthen a compliance team and appoint a head of compliance to enhance internal processes.

Han, 51, joined BMW Korea in 2003 to be in charge of marketing of BMW and MINI cars. Since January 2016, he has been the managing director and CEO of BMW Group Malaysia.

Kim, 60, joined BMW Korea in 1995 as chief financial officer and has served as CEO for 17 years since 2000.


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