The announcement was made even more poignant by the fact that this is the first time in the history of Hyundai Motor Europe that a managing director has ever been promoted to president and CEO level.

Mr Han addressed the delegates at the conference and commented: ‘You are on track to achieve a record sales volume here in the UK within a declining car market. Our investment in product has been plain for all to see and our brand is becoming more recognised. We are also recognising the work of our people and it gives me great pleasure to announce that Tony Whitehorn has been promoted to the role of president and CEO.’

Tony Whitehorn (Inset), commented on his recognition: ‘I am delighted to be asked to become the new president and CEO of Hyundai here in the UK. Not just because it’s a real honour, but mainly because it underlines the fact that the company is maturing in its development as a global player and localising.

Whitehorn continued: ‘Hyundai is becoming stronger across the globe because it recognises the regional variations. That’s why we have seen the introduction of cars being specifically designed and produced for the European market. The benefits of this bespoke approach have been obvious to all and this new role for me is another significant step in the localisation of Hyundai in the market place.’

Hyundai UK’s current president, Ike Oh, will remain at HMUK and work alongside Tony Whitehorn as Chief Executive Co-ordinator. Ike has been a valuable asset to Hyundai UK, providing fresh business insight over the past year since joining.