As Tata Motors Ltd. struggles to revive sales of premium vehicles in the midst of a worsening debt crisis in Europe, it now has to search for a new CEO. It has been three years since the company bought the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford Motor Co.
Carl-Peter Forster, who helped in turning the Jaguar Land Rover into a profitable unit in the year ended March 31, quit on Sept. 9 as the global head of the company, which is the largest automaker of India.
“Unavoidable personal circumstances” were cited, according to Autonews. Forster kept this position for less than two years. His replacement will face the challenge of reversing six consecutive months of dropping sales at Jaguar as European economies stall.
The company, which achieved 35 percent of its revenue from the U.S. and Europe last year, now needs to find a CEO soon to avoid derailing a plan to invest $2.4 billion yearly in new models and to expand in China, according to managing director Deepesh Rathore at IHS Automotive.
Analyst Andrew Jackson at research firm Datamonitor in London stated that the scenario is a “big blow” for Jaguar Land Rover, adding that Forster “signed off on a very bold change in direction for the company.”
Its shares have declined 44 percent this year, which qualifies it as the worst performing stock in the BSE India Sensitive Index. Chairman Ratan Tata at Tata Motors commented that the credit for the turnaround of Jaguar Land Rover goes to the company’s workforce and management team, adding that no single person can or should take credit for the improvement in the company’s operations.