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    Naza Kia, the official distributor of Kia Motor vehicles in Malaysia, has announced the appointment of Datuk Syed Abdull Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO). He will assume the position on October 1, 2010, taking over the role from Datuk Syed Hisham Syed Wazir who has joined UMW Holdings Bhd as its President and CEO.Read the full news by Tengku Noor Shamsiah Tengku Abdullah from Bernama below.


    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — To boost Naza Kia’s automotive business, its newly appointed chief operating officer Datuk Syed Abdul Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar hopes to leverage on the group’s strong global reputation.

    “Kia Motors, South Korea’s second largest automobile manufacturer, has a very strong presence globally, including Europe and the United States,” he told Bernama here Tuesday.

    “I hope to leverage on its strength and then cascade back in Malaysia,” he said.

    Naza Kia, the official distributor of Kia Motor vehicles in Malaysia, earlier announced that it had appointed Syed Hafiz, former managing director of Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua), as its new chief operating officer.

    Syed Hafiz, who spent five years at Perodua, will assume his position at Naza Kia on Oct 1, 2010, replacing Datuk Syed Hisham Syed Wazir who left the company end-August to join UMW Holdings Bhd as its president and chief executive officer.

    Syed Hafiz said that based on the group’s strength, he would also focus on enhancing Naza Kia’s image, adding value to the business and making its products desirable to customers.

    After leaving Perodua, Syed Hafiz spent nine months working with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and he intends to continue with it.
    His interest in making a comeback to the automotive industry came after his visit to South Korea in his capacity as adviser to the Malaysian-Korean Chamber of Commerce.

    He also followed a trade mission there led by International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed recently.

    “As I walk around and see the automotive industry there, it inspired me to make a comeback and improve the industry,” he said.

    “We believe Datuk Syed Hafiz is the best person to carry on where Datuk Syed Hisham left off,” said SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin, joint group executive chairman of the Naza group of companies, in a statement announcing the appointment.

    “Syed Hafiz brings with him a vast wealth of experience and hands-on knowledge that will bring the Kia brand to the next level in Malaysia,” he said.
    Syed Hafiz retired from his position at Perodua end-2009 after five years with the national carmaker. Prior to joining Perodua, Syed Hafiz spent 10 years in various capacities at the UMW group.

    During his tenure, Syed Hafiz led Perodua to new heights, including becoming the country’s best-selling brand, a position which it still holds till today.
    He was awarded the “Automotive Man of the Year 2009” at the NST/Maybank Car of the Year Awards.

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