Thursday, August 31, 2000

Mazda North American Operations

Mazda Motor Corporation today announced the appointment of Charles R. Hughes as senior adviser of the company and president of its subsidiary, Mazda North American Operations, effective October 1.

Mazda North American
Hughes, who has been working as a consultant for various clients, will be responsible for Mazda North American Operations, including the U.S. and Canada. He succeeds Richard Beattie, who was named Ford Motor Company vice president, Investor Relations.

Hughes, 55, is the former president and CEO at Land Rover North America, where he was responsible for marketing sales and distribution of the Land Rover sports utility vehicle line in the North American market from 1986 to 1999.

"Charles is someone who clearly knows the car business - particularly the import market in the U.S. - and he will bring a lot to Mazda," Mark Fields, President of Mazda Motor Corporation said. "He has a good breadth of sales, marketing and advertising experience with a broad range of companies, and he has a reputation as an outstanding brand developer. He also has strong dealer development and management experience."

Hughes, who grew up in Pleasantville, New York, joined General Motors in 1967 and worked there four years in various sales budgeting, show and exhibits, sales training and dealer development positions.

In 1973, Hughes joined American Motors as a corporate marketing planner. Three years later, he was appointed account supervisor with an advertising firm, Doyle Dane Bernbach, in New York where he managed marketing and advertising strategies for the Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi brands and developed an expanded marketing research program.

In 1978, he returned to the car business and joined Fiat as head of marketing operations, responsible for advertising, merchandising and sales training for Fiat, Lancia and Ferrari in the U.S.

Hughes joined Volkswagen in 1979 as head of marketing for the Porsche/Audi division and, in 1982, moved to the larger Volkswagen division, also as head of marketing and later became regional manager, overseeing the four-state mid-Atlantic region.

In 1986, Hughes was hired by Land Rover to reestablish operations in the U.S. Land Rover had pulled out in 1974. Among other things, Hughes led the effort to develop the Land Rover Centres concept, which helped extend the brand position to the retail level. He left the company in mid-1999 to pursue various consulting projects, including several Internet-oriented initiatives.

Hughes holds an MBA from the University of Rochester's Simon School of Business and a bachelor's degree in history from Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania.

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