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Hyundai Replaces Chief Executive of U.S. Unit

January 18, 2006|From Associated Press

South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co. on Tuesday named O.S. Koh as president and chief executive of the company's U.S. division.

Koh replaces Robert Cosmai, who had been president and CEO since 2003.

In an interview, Cosmai would say only that he and Hyundai "have ended our relationship." A spokesman for Hyundai wouldn't elaborate.

Cosmai said Hyundai saw five years of record U.S. sales under his leadership at Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America, first as vice president of sales and then as president and CEO.

"All I can say is that I'm leaving on a very positive note, in a much better shape than when I got here in 1998," Cosmai said. "All the elements are in place, with the new products, and I wish them well. This happens and you can't always explain things, but it's been a very positive association."

Cosmai described Koh as a hard-working executive. "I'm sure he'll do very well," he said.

Koh said Cosmai did a fine job leading the sales efforts.

"We appreciate his many accomplishments and wish him the best in the future," Koh said in a statement.

Cosmai presided over a period of solid growth for Hyundai. The automaker's U.S. sales were up 9% in 2005, compared with an overall increase of 6.5% for all Asian brands combined.

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