He said that as Kia has a very strong presence internationally which includes positive growth in Europe and the United States, he hopes to leverage of this strength and to translate them into equally positive results in the country. Kia is the second largest automotive company from South Korea. Syed Hafiz will be replacing Datuk Syed Hisham Syed Wazir, who has since moved on to take on the post of Chief Executive Officer and President of UMW Holdings Bhd which is involved in selling Toyota cars in Malaysia.
Attached with Perodua for 5 years, Syed Hafiz added that he will be working towards enhancing the image of the brand and marketing the products with value and making them desirable for its target market. During his time at the national car maker, he was instrumental (Perodua) which saw it becoming the best-selling brand in Malaysia. To date, the record is still intact. His achievements were recognized where he was subsequently awarded the ‘Automotive Man of the Year 2009’ during the NST/Maybank Car of the Year Awards.
He was attached with an NGO for 9 months after leaving Perodua where after visiting South Korea as the advisor to the Malaysian-Korean Chamber of Commerce decided that he still has much to offer in the industry. Apart from that, he also visited South Korea with Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed, the Minister of International Trade and Industry on a trade mission. He said that what he saw in South Korea has inspired him to want to contribute more to the automotive industry back home.
According to SM Nasaruddin SM Nasimuddin, the joint group executive chairman of Naza Group, they are confident that Datuk Syed Hafiz is the ideal candidate to continue the good work of Datuk Syed Hisham was he has a lot of experience and hand-on knowledge of the industry which would be beneficial to propel the brand to a higher level.