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FRANKLIN, Tenn. — The marketing executive who headed up the widely successful Hyundai Assurance Program last year has moved over to a rival automaker.

Nissan North America has hired Joel Ewanick — who previously was vice president of marketing for Hyundai Motor America — to be the vice president of marketing for the Nissan division, a move that becomes effective today.

He takes over for Christian Meunier, who became president of Nissan Brazil on Feb. 5.

The Hyundai Assurance Program that Ewanick built is said to have doubled Hyundai's consideration among U.S. shoppers, earning him quite a bit of industry praise. He took Forbes' Chief Marketing Office of the Year award last year, as well as winning 2009 honors for Brandweek's Grand Marketer of the Year and Advertising Age's Marketer of the Year.

As he takes his position with Nissan, Ewanick will be charged with responsibility for all facets of marketing for the brand's lineup in the U.S. Among these duties are marketing communications, C&I, pricing and product management.

In addition to his time with Hyundai, he has worked in executive capacities with Hinckley Co. — Monitor Clipper Inc. in Boston, and Palmer Johnson LLC in Wisconsin. Ewanick also served in an executive post with Porsche Cars North America in Atlanta.