Carl-Peter Forster has been named as the new CEO of Tata Motors and will take responsibility for global operations, including Jaguar Land Rover.
The appointment comes three weeks after the departure of David Smith from the position.
Mr. Forster, 55, has twenty-four years of international experience in the automobile industry. Most recently he was the head of General Motors, Europe, where he looked after Opel/Vauxhall, Saab and the European activities of Chevrolet. Before joining General Motors in 2001, Mr. Forster had 13 years experience at BMW where he held various positions including that of Managing Director of BMW South Africa and was also on the Managing Board of BMW responsible for manufacturing.
Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons and Tata Motors, said, “Tata Motors expects that Mr. Forster’s induction will greatly facilitate its ambition towards being a truly international company.”
The Tata group has experienced a strong start to 2010 with January sales figures showing a growth of 93% over January 2009. Jaguar Land Rover global sales in January 2010 were 16,269 vehicles, an increase of 195%.
Despite the strong start to the year, Land Rover sales are down 16% in the financial year and Jaguar sales have declined by 30%. According to Times Online, Mr Forster’s immediate responsibilities will include the restructuring of Jaguar Land Rover’s Midland operations which may include a complete plant closure.