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Kumho Tire N.A. getting new prez

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.—J.B. Kim, president of Kumho Tire North America, will be returning to South Korea to head the OE sales division and the Korean market replacement sales division of the company's parent, Kumho Tire Co. Inc.

Hai Eok “Harry” Choi will take over as president of Kumho Tire North America, Rancho Cucamonga-based Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. said.

The management transition began Jan. 1 and will be completed by the end of January, the company said.

Mr. Kim led Kumho Tire North America for the past four years through significant market challenges, Kumho said. Over the past few years, Kumho North America has seen improvement in brand awareness through its marketing activities, the company said, claiming awareness increased by 8 percent per year between 2008 and 2012.

Mr. Kim also led the company in the launch of the Ecsta 4X all-season UHP tire, Kumho said, which was one of the most successful Kumho tires launched in the U.S. He also is credited with being instrumental in maintaining the close relationships with Kumho Tire U.S.A.'s dealer body throughout his tenure. Kumho Tire U.S.A. said it realized sales of more than 10 million units per year during Mr. Kim's term.

“During my stay in North America, I have had the opportunity to meet many unique challenges,” Mr. Kim said. “Through it all, we have remained a unit of strength, perseverance and positivity. It is these qualities that have made Kumho Tire U.S.A. more tenacious than ever.

“I will forever be greatly appreciative to our U.S. customers and employees for what I now reflect on as a great time of growth, with unceasing potential for many great things to come.”

Mr. Choi brings more than 20 years of experience with Kumho Tire, according to the company, with background in both sales and marketing leadership positions in Korea, Europe and Latin America.
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