The man who developed Jaguar Land Rover from a niche UK centric manufacturer to a respected, technological leading, global premium company has announced that he will retire from his current role as executive director and chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover at the end of his contract term, September 2020.
Speth to Retire
Under Speth’s tenure, Jaguar has become the biggest UK car manufacturer with out posts in Brazil, Slovakia and China, transforming a company that was producing just three models a decade ago in to one that now makes seven, including a ground breaking all-electric model with another on the way.
Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover plc, said, “I want to thank Ralf for his passion and commitment over the last ten years. I am delighted that Ralf has agreed to maintain his relationship with Jaguar Land Rover by becoming non-executive vice-chairman. Ralf will al so remain on the board of Tata Sons.
“A search committee has been formed which will work with me to identify a suitable successor in the coming months.” Said Prof Sir Ralf Speth, “I feel very honoured to have worked with so many dedicated and creative people, both inside and outside of Jaguar Land Rover. I want to say thank you for all their support and commitment.
“We offer our customers multi-award-winning products and will continue to surprise with the best pipeline of new, innovative products we have ever had.”
Born in Roth, south-west Germany, Speth’s career started in 1980 at BMW, where he stayed for the next 20 years. In 2002, he joined The Linde Group and served as head of global operations and vice president of operations before returning to the car industry in 2007 as director of production, quality and product planning for Ford’s Premier Automotive Group. After Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover together to Tata in 2008, he became chief executive officer of the newly joined companies in February 2010.
After massive growth, we saw a sudden shakeout in 2017, caused primarily by rapid public rejection of diesel engines and major difficulties in China; 4,500 employees were let go and costs were trimmed by £2.5billion. The action worked and JLR is once again profitable.
Speth is yet to confirm what he will do next, other than saying, “I am looking forward to new and exciting challenges.” After taking British citizenship in August 2019 (meaning his 2015 honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire became substantive), he will, perhaps, stay in the UK. What isn’t in question is his long-lasting and positive impact on Jaguar.
“I AMLOOKING FORWARD TO NEWAND EXCITING CHALLENGES”
Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth