New Communicators at Audi and Hyundai

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
new communicators at audi and hyundai

Audi’s Emilie Cotter

Hyundai and Audi both filled high-level communications posts this week. Audi promoted Emilie Cotter, while at Hyundai Sarah Fullwood arrived devoid of automotive experience.

Audi of America hired Cotter in September as director of corporate and brand communications. Chief brand officer at Marketplace, and SVP and partner at FleishmanHilliard, Cotter earlier headed corporate and brand communications for Lucasfilm.

Cotter will lead Audi of America’s communications strategy. Corporate, product, and lifestyle communications are her responsibility, along with government affairs. She wil define and lead communications with the media, dealers, internal and external partners, along with state and federal politicos.

Audi promoted chief communications officer Tara Rush to SVP and chief marketing officer in December. Rush oversaw communications until Cotter’s promotion. In her new post, Cotter will report to Audi of America presence Daniel Weissland.

Meanwhile, at Hyundai North America, Sarah Fullwood, a colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, has been named director of public relations and communications.

Fullwood oversees Hyundai Motor North America, Genesis Motor North America, Hyundai Motor Manufacturing, and Hyundai’s Washington, D.C. communications. She reports to Dana White, Hyundai Motor North America chief communications officer.

“Sarah’s extensive experience driving change, building teams and managing large, diverse organizations will hasten the growth and performance of Hyundai, Genesis and the entire North American enterprise,” said White.

“Hyundai is evolving beyond a traditional OEM and therefore requires different disciplines and perspectives gained outside of the industry.”

A strategic communications officer for the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, public affairs officer for General James Mattis, and more recently Dana White’s senior military assistant, Fullwood was also an assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, and the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson for the Department of Defense and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

Fullwood led operations across a variety of time zones and geographic regions, as a U.S. European Command battle watch captain and as the Marine Corps Wargaming Division deputy director.

The automotive industry’s complexities are difficult for those with a clear professional trajectory, let alone a newcomer with no experience in this field whatsoever.

[Image: Audi]

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on May 26, 2021

    "The automotive industry’s complexities are difficult for those with a clear professional trajectory, let alone a newcomer with no experience in this field whatsoever." The industry experts with car experience don't impress me, either, so what's the difference? These people weren't hired to design cars or change oil.

  • Lightspeed Lightspeed on May 27, 2021

    The govt relations part is where the real work happens, putting out news releases and running press-junkets is low-hanging-fruit.

  • MrIcky It's always nice to see a car guy put in charge of cars instead of an accountant. I wish him well and look forward to some entertaining reveals. I think he and Gilles may be the only industry people that I actually enjoy listening to.
  • Master Baiter It doesn't matter whether autonomous vehicles are better or worse drivers than humans. Companies with deep pockets will find themselves sued over incidents like this. Enough lawsuits and the whole business plan collapses. Cheaper to just put a human behind the wheel.
  • MaintenanceCosts How many dogs are wiped out by human drivers annually?Which type of driver wipes out more dogs per mile? Per trip?Without some context there's not much information here.
  • SCE to AUX I hope the higher altitude doesn't harm his zeal or his career.
  • SCE to AUX Probably a fair price. This is a car I can't own, since it's not made for 6'6" people.