Forster’s exit not to impact JLR turnaround: Tata Motors

Forster’s exit not to impact JLR turnaround: Tata Motors

New Delhi: Tata Motors, on Monday, said the sudden exit of its group chief executive officer (CEO) and managing director (MD) Carl-Peter Forster will not impact the future of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), stating that “it would be wrong to credit" the former executive for turning around the British marque.

Reacting to market speculation that Forster’s exit, at a time when sales of JLR have not been encouraging, could have an impact on its two brands and their turnaround, a company spokesperson said, “It would be wrong to credit JLR’s turnaround to Carl-Peter Forster."

He said the turnaround in JLR commenced 24 months ago, while Forster had joined the Tata Motors in February, 2010. After the downturn of 2008-09, JLR made operating profit of 325.27 crore in the quarter ended September, 2009 that propelled Tata Motors’ consolidated net profit to 21.78 crore, as against a loss of 941.75 crore in the same period a year ago.

According to the spokesperson, the turnaround of JLR was “following the successful efforts made by the management team to cut costs and the successful introduction of the new Jaguar XJ and XF sedans". “The Jaguar Land Rover business has been following the operating plans put in place after Tatas took over the business," he added.

For the first quarter ended 30 June, 2011, Tata Motors group posted a net profit of 1,999.62 crore as compared to 1,988.73 crore for the quarter ended 30 June, 2010.

Reacting to Forster’s resignation, whose exit was announced after the market hours last Friday, Tata Motors’ scrips have tanked 3.09% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) during the afternoon trade to 148 per share. Market watchers had pointed out that his exit has not come at the right time as JLR sales have been not so encouraging this fiscal.

In the April-July period this fiscal, sales of Jaguar Land Rover were 81,209 units, up 6%. During the period, Jaguar sales were down 26% at 15,715 units while that of Land Rover were at 65,494 units, up 18%.

When he joined Tata Motors in February, 2010, Forster was given the overall responsibility of Tata Motors operations globally, including Jaguar Land Rover.