Maria Soklis Becomes KIA Canada's first female COO and Vice-President

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, April 15 /CNW/ - KIA Canada today announced that Maria
Soklis has been named Chief Operating Officer and Vice - President. The
announcement was made by Mr. Jay Chung, President and C.E.O. of KIA Canada.
    Ms. Soklis is the first female to ascend to the position of COO and Vice
-President within the KIA Motors' International Organization. "Maria Soklis
brings outstanding leadership skills, sound business judgement and integrity
to the COO position which will enable her to lead KIA Canada to new heights,"
said Jay Chung. "Through her leadership and guidance KIA Canada has
experienced record sales growth and she has been instrumental to the ongoing
overall improvement in dealer satisfaction which was reflected in KCI
receiving the 2007 CADA Award for Most Improved Franchise. During her tenure
at KIA Canada, Ms. Soklis has led KCI to a 26.9 per cent increase in sales
through to 2008 and a 6.2 percent increase in sales for the first quarter of
2009. This was a significant achievement in a market that posted an overall
industry decline of 21.8 per cent last quarter. Maria accepted the Global
Subsidiary of the Year Award on behalf of KIA Canada in 2008. This award is
given in recognition of the highest professionalism and best overall business
performance among KIA Motors' entire sales subsidiaries world wide."
    In her new role, Ms. Soklis will be responsible for both the daily and
strategic operations of the Sales, Marketing, Service, Parts, PR, Legal and
Human Resources Departments. "Today's uncertain economic climate requires a
new style of leadership," says Shelley Tavener, Public Relations Manager at
KIA Canada. "Automotive leaders need a customer centric approach to business
as well as the skills to guide their organizations through these difficult
times. Maria has a record of success for introducing customer focused
initiatives such as the KIA Integrity Advantage Program. She has also
pioneered many of KIA Canada's charitable commitments such as KIA's Habitat
for Humanity Canada Sponsorship Program and she is a proud supporter of the
Habitat Toronto Women's Build Initiative. Everyone at KIA Canada has no doubt
that she is the right person for this important role."
    "Ms. Soklis has clearly demonstrated tremendous leadership within KIA to
achieve this new position," said Neil Hetherington, CEO Habitat for Humanity
Toronto. "Moreover, her leadership has extended to the community as a whole
through partnerships with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. On
behalf of Habitat for Humanity Toronto's board of directors and our partner
families we wish her every success in this new role."
    Prior to joining KIA Canada in 2006, Ms. Soklis held positions with
increasing responsibility within General Motors Europe and General Motors
International Operations before assuming a role with General Motors Canada.
Maria Soklis is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and is married with
three children.

    Kia Canada Inc. ( - is a subsidiary of Kia Motors
Corporation (KMC) in Korea. Founded in Canada in 1999, Kia Canada Inc. sells
and services high quality class leading vehicles like the Rondo and Spectra
through a network of 155 dealers nationwide. Kia Canada Inc. employs 134
people in its Mississauga, Ontario headquarters and four regional offices
across Canada.

For further information:

For further information: Kia Canada Inc. Media Contact: Shelley Tavener,
Public Relations Manager, Tel: (905) 755-6351, E-mail:

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