By on January 25, 2010

David Smith, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover has left the company for reasons that JLR and parent firm Tata refuse to elaborate upon beyond telling the Beeb that Smith’s departure is “not linked to the recent breakdown of talks with unions over pay and pensions.” Since the sale to Tata, Jaguar has been negotiating a two-tier wage system and pension reform with workers at its four British plants, but talks stumbled to a halt just days ago. So, that’s definitely not why Smith left suddenly.

Tata plans on closing at least one of its West Midlands plants, and has already turned down British state aid as “too onerous.” Unsurprisingly, one of Tata’s JLR directors (and former Tata CEO) Ravi Kant is stepping in to take over day-to-day leadership duties. With the new management now fully in charge of JLR (and doubtless tasked with right-sizing JLR into line with its falling sales), things are going to be a bit topsy-turvy in Goodwood for a while. Jaguar has long cherished its relative freedom, and Jag’s Ian Callum had only good things about the marque’s relations with its corporate overlords when I interviewed him last fall. Kant’s assumption of power represents the return of corporate management at JLR… just as a new, smaller and long-rumored Jaguar roadster was confirmed for production. This could be interesting.

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5 Comments on “Jaguar/Land Rover Boss Departs As Tata Takes Over...”

  • avatar

    “Malcolm, put the F-Type back in the box.”

  • avatar

    TTAC get’s it’s facts wrong again! Twice in one day (see my MG6 comments). This time they talk about Goodwood. What’s Goodwood got to do with Jaguar Land Rover? That’s Rolls Royce.

    Also how does TTAC get 4 plants? JLR has 3 manaufacturing plants: Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Halewood as well as 2 R&D centres, 1 at Gaydon the other at Whitley. TTAC either mean 3 or 5 but not 4.

    Also falling sales? Last time I looked sales for the year were down but sales for Q4 were up and TATA were upbeat. The change in leadership is more to do with David Smith coming from a finance background when JLR need someone from an Engineering background as they enter a new phase of product launches…..

    For crying out loud TTAC. You love say ‘TTAC called it’ when a car maker screws up and you predicted it. But your not so clever now with 2 poorly written articles in 1 day.

    MG6 designed in China TTAC? Do your research or gimme a Job!

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Well, the striking workers will be able to wave goodbye when the tooling for the Jags and the Land Rovers is put on the boat for Chennai.

    • 0 avatar

      Last time I checked, Tata had no plants in Chennai which on the east coast of India. Their operations are in Pune and Gujarat on the west. Yet another armchair ceo in action today.

  • avatar

    Come on TTAC, correct your article….

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