Kia South Africa Welcomes Paul Turnbull As New Ceo

Kia South Africa Welcomes Paul Turnbull as New CEO

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1 July 2024 – Kia South Africa proudly announces the appointment of Paul Turnbull as its new CEO, effective today. The leadership transition, initially disclosed by Osman Arbee, CEO of Motus Holdings, in April, marks a strategic shift within the company. Turnbull, previously with Hyundai Automotive South Africa, succeeds Gary Scott, who served as Kia’s…

Kia South Africa Welcomes Paul Turnbull As New Ceo

1 July 2024 – Kia South Africa proudly announces the appointment of Paul Turnbull as its new CEO, effective today. The leadership transition, initially disclosed by Osman Arbee, CEO of Motus Holdings, in April, marks a strategic shift within the company. Turnbull, previously with Hyundai Automotive South Africa, succeeds Gary Scott, who served as Kia’s CEO since 1 July 2017 and has now taken on the role of Chief Digital Officer at Motus Holdings.

A Career Rooted in Retail Excellence

Paul Turnbull, 51, was born and raised in Johannesburg, where he completed his education at Jeppe High School for Boys and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude). His journey in the automotive industry began at the age of 22 with Wheels of Africa, the former distributor for Hyundai in South Africa, where he started as a sales coordinator in 1995. Demonstrating an innate talent for retail, he quickly ascended to sales executive within the same year and became the Dealer Principal at Hyundai Nelspruit by 1997, making him the company’s youngest DP at 25.

In 1998, Turnbull led the Middelburg branch to win Dealer of the Year, before moving to head the Tygervalley branch in the Western Cape. Following the liquidation of Wheels of Africa in 1999, Turnbull transitioned to Associated Motor Holdings (AMH) under Imperial Holdings, where he continued to excel. By 2000, he was a Dealer Principal in the AMH network and climbed to regional manager in Cape Town by 2001, overseeing ten dealerships and reporting directly to the CEO of Hyundai Automotive South Africa. His promotion to Regional Director came in 2005.

Turnbull’s adept leadership turned the Cape Town region into one of the most profitable operations, leading to an expanded portfolio that included Pretoria and Johannesburg’s west rand, encompassing 22 dealerships by 2015. His success earned him the role of Managing Director of Hyundai Automotive South Africa’s retail division in 2023, overseeing 43 dealers.

Vision for Kia’s Growth Amidst Opportunities

Turnbull is enthusiastic about the significant growth potential for the Kia brand in South Africa. He is committed to expanding Kia’s product range and dealer network, emphasizing growth and profitability.

“I’m excited to join the Kia brand, despite the current economic challenges affecting the automotive industry,” says Turnbull. “Kia is a brilliant brand with exceptional products, and there are endless opportunities for accelerating its remarkable growth in South Africa. While the industry faces many challenges, we are optimistic about increasing Kia’s market share beyond 5% in the next two years. It’s crucial to grow the trust and confidence of our shareholders and retail investors through enhanced profitability in the retail network.”

Turnbull’s strategy includes investing in the company’s personnel, ensuring the right people are in the right roles, and enhancing staff training and development. He credits his approach to the mentorship of industry leaders such as Manny de Canha, Allan Ross, and Niall Lynch.

“One of Kia’s core values is simplicity, which aligns naturally with my leadership style,” Turnbull comments. “We have the ability to think, but often overanalyze and delay action. I believe in making informed, decisive decisions. There’s no room for ego in our business; I’m open to admitting mistakes and reversing decisions when necessary.

“My leadership style encourages removing mental hurdles that hinder decisiveness and timely action. We are fortunate to have passionate people committed to the brand, products, and our collective potential. My responsibility is to ensure everyone feels empowered to contribute their best ideas and plans to drive the brand and business forward.”

A Family-Oriented Leader

Turnbull is a devoted family man with two daughters—one working abroad and one studying in the Western Cape. In his leisure time, he enjoys various outdoor activities, including golf, kite surfing, padel, and adventure biking.

“I extend my gratitude to Gary Scott for his significant contributions to Kia South Africa’s success and wish him well in his new role,” says Turnbull. “I am eager to lead Kia’s ‘Movement that inspires’ to new heights.”


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