LONDON (Reuters) – The boss of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) (NS:) will step down from his role at the end of his contract term in September as Britain’s biggest carmaker shows signs of improvement after a torrid 2019 of job cuts, deep losses and falling sales.
Ralf Speth has led the company since 2010 during which it has pursued a major global expansion with new factories in China, Brazil and Slovakia putting it on course to make 1 million cars per year.
But sales ended last year at just over 550,000 vehicles as the firm was slower than some rivals in electrifying its line-up whilst large drops in diesel demand and a slump in China, the world’s biggest autos market, hit its performance.
JLR posted a 6% decline in 2019 sales but it has bounced back in China in recent months and overall company sales rose by 1.3% in December.
Speth will stay on as non-executive vice chairman at JLR and will remain on the board of Tata Sons, the parent group of Tata Motors which owns JLR, the firm said in a statement.
“A search committee has been formed which will work with me to identify a suitable successor in the coming months,” said Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran.
JLR posts third-quarter results as part of Tata Motors later on Thursday.
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