Former Kia Motors India ED Yong S Kim to join Ola Electric

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 06 Apr 2021


Everything official about it now. This news story which Autocar Professional broke three hours ago has been confirmed. Ola Electric has sent out its official communication. 

Yong S Kim, former executive director at Kia Motors India, is set to join Ola Electric as Head of Global Sales & Distribution, overseeing India and international markets. Kim will take on the key role of business development at Ola Electric, which has laid down some ambitious plans as an electric vehicle (EV) maker.

For starters, it has broken ground to set up the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturing plant, in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu. Scheduled to be operational next year, the mega factory will have an annual installed production capacity of 10 million units. That itself is an indicator of Ola Electric’s strategy to play the volume game.

Kim, an India veteran who was a part of the team which established Hyundai Motor India, was instrumental in the highly successful launch of the Kia brand in India. 

At Ola Electric he will be responsible for leading the domestic and international strategy for sales and go-to-market for Ola Electric as it gears up to launch its first electric scooter across India and multiple international markets including Europe and the UK, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

Welcoming Y S Kim, Bhavish Aggarwal, chairman and Group CEO, Ola said, “I am excited to have Yongsung join our team at Ola Electric and look forward to collaborating with him as we launch our range of electric products around the world. His expertise in sales, distribution and service will be critical for our global expansion and for bringing our advanced, innovative electric products to our customers.”

Y S Kim said: “I am very excited to join Ola Electric and its team to develop a winning strategy for India and global sales for its range of EV products, beginning with the Ola scooter. With this new assignment, I also returned to India, where I had spent several years in the sales teams of Hyundai Motors and Kia, so it is doubly satisfying for me and a great opportunity to work together towards putting India on the world EV map.”

Starting with the launch of the Seltos in August 2019, Kia has driven up to the fifth spot in the Indian passenger vehicle (PV) market in a short span of time. The Korean expat had moved out of India, in January 2020, to a new role at the Korean OEM’s headquarters in Seoul. Kim's exposure in the global auto industry, and a good understanding of Indian market would be valuable for Ola Electric’s grounds-up, all-new venture. 

The Indian electric two-wheeler segment has been taking the lead in the overall electric mobility space in the country. Kim’s appointment will be crucial for the new EV maker’s strategy to play a significant role in this market, and possibly overseas too.