Tata Motors Names Ex-Airbus COO Butschek as Chief Executive

  • Butschek will be responsible for India, international business
  • Ralf Speth will continue to lead Jaguar Land Rover unit

Guenter Butschek.

Photographer: ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Tata Motors Ltd. appointed Guenter Butschek as the chief executive officer of its India business, two years after the death of previous chief Karl Slym.

Butschek, 55, who was previously chief operating officer at Airbus Group SE, is expected to join by Feb. 15 and has been appointed for a period of five years, Tata Motors said in a statement Monday. He will lead all operations of Tata Motors in India and in international markets. The Mumbai-based company’s luxury unit Jaguar Land Rover, which contributes the bulk of the profits, will continue to be managed by its CEO Ralf Speth, the company said.

Butschek has the task of turning around the truck and carmaker, which excluding its main Jaguar Land Rover unit, reported losses in five of the past seven quarters through September. Tata Motors has introduced new passenger vehicle models in India as it seeks to regain lost market share.

“Tata Motors needs to ask the question why the customers no longer even consider the brand and new launches have not steadied the ship,” said Deepesh Rathore, director at Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors based in London. “It is a good question for the CEO to ask right at the start.”

Shares of the automaker climbed 2.4 percent to 348.30 rupees in Mumbai as of 10:29 a.m. The stock tumbled 20 percent last year.

Butschek worked at Daimler AG for more than 25 years in international automotive management and was the CEO of Beijing Benz Automotive Co., a joint venture between Daimler and Beijing Automotive Industrial Holding in China, prior to joining Airbus in 2011. Butschek graduated in business administration and economics with a diploma from the University of Cooperative Education Stuttgart, Germany.

Tata has been seeking a permanent replacement for former Managing Director Slym, who led efforts to revive profitability and market share at the Indian business, after he fell to his death in January 2014.

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