Carl-Peter Forster has resigned as chief executive officer and managing director of Tata Motors, citing a serious illness in his immediate family. He will remain a non-executive director of Tata, the ambitious Indian automaker that purchased Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor Co. two years ago.
Forster had joined Tata in February, 2010 after a long career with General Motors that ended in 2009 when he supported the sale of majority control of GM’s Opel subsidiary to a consortium of Russian Banks allied with Canadian automotive supplier Magna International Inc. The deal was scrubbed after a series of executive changes at GM,notably including the ouster of CEO Fritz Henderson who, like Forster, had supported the sale.
“The board respects Carl-Peter’s personal circumstances that led to this move,” Tata Chairman Ratan Tata said following Forster’s resignation. “We would like to thank him for his contributions to the successful development of our company.”
Tata is the largest of the domestic Indian automakers and arguably the most ambitious. The Tata brand name is perhaps best known for its Nano model, the world’s cheapest automobile. But Tata has struggled to expand out of its home market and has been counting on its two British brands to help it become a truly global player in the competitive automotive industry. But things are clearly not going as well as Tata hoped.