For the past four and a half years, Hyundai's marketing efforts in America have been steered by Steve Shannon. But now the Korean automaker is going to have to find a new marketing guru, because Shannon has reportedly stepped down with apparently immediate effect.

A career automobile marketer, Shannon came to Hyundai early in 2011 after over a quarter century at General Motors, effectively switching places with Joel Ewanick and Chris Perry, who moved from Hyundai to GM the previous year.

During his 25 years in Detroit, Automotive News points out, Shannon worked with such brands as Buick, Oldsmobile, Saab and Hummer. He was particularly instrumental in launching the Saturn brand and served as executive director of marketing for Cadillac prior to moving to Hyundai.

Over the course of his tenure at Hyundai Motor America, Shannon was widely credited with increasing the brand's market share in the US, but came under fire when its sales began to stagnate more recently.

Hyundai has reportedly yet to identify a successor to Shannon's post, saying that he left to "pursue other opportunities." We'll be watching to see where he lands next, and who Hyundai names in his place.


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