Jaguar Land Rover Names Ralf Speth As CEO

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2011 Jaguar XJ Sedan

2011 Jaguar XJ Sedan

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Jaguar Land Rover is undergoing a major transition, with its parent company, Tata Motors, recently announcing a new CEO in form of auto industry stalwart Carl-Peter Forster, and now Jaguar Land Rover itself announcing Dr. Ralf Speth as its new CEO.

Speth will be responsible for the entire Jaguar Land Rover operation and report directly to Forster. The 54-year-old auto exec has more than 22 years experience in the business, having previously worked as vice president of Land Rover whilst it was owned by BMW and then later as a production manager for the now defunct Ford Premier Automotive Group. He was most recently the global chief of Germany industrial gases and engineering firm Linde Group.

Speth is replacing David Smith who stepped down from the role late last month. His key task now will be to turn around the financial performance of Jaguar Land Rover, which Tata Motors acquired from Ford back in 2008 for $2.3 billion.

An aggressive strategy the automaker is undertaking is a reduction of the current number of platforms from six to just two. This will mean that diverse models like the new XJ (pictured) and next-generation Range Rover SUV will be based on the same common architecture. Click here for more details.

[Jaguar Land Rover]

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  1. The appointment of Forster neither fills me with confidence or great hope. He came from BMW to OPEL then GM Europe and was never a real entreprenuer of any great capacity which is what OPEL needed and obviously even now urgently needs!
    He was at GM Zürich - the GM Tax Avoidence operation in Switzerland and even there and more or less partially running OPEL Europe along with others but nothing dramatic ever happened. In spite of Forster OPEL had dull models, too many plants - 27 in Europe in various forms and about 12,000 workers too many for efficient production.
    When he left it was about the same and GMs Nick Reily had to give the push to start re-organsation on a major scale in Europe. I feel it may have been better if Speth was CEO of Tata and Forster was running TATA Zürich to avoid unnecessary taxation loads! Time will tell!
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