Vishal Bhatwaj, the new chief executive of Tata Motor, is a lame duck, a man who has already missed a number of appointments to key positions and who will likely face an internal challenge in the coming weeks.
The appointment of Bhatwsaj, whose appointment was first reported by The Hindu, comes as Tata Motors is trying to make a comeback in India.
Bhatwij is one of three key members of Tata’s top executive team, the other being Dinesh Agarwal, the head of automotive services.
Agarwals appointment came after a tumultuous few months in which the company, in the wake of a major financial crisis, was forced to delay production of the Renault-Nissan Xterra, which was to have been unveiled as a replacement for the Renault Clio.
In February, Tata Motors said it would stop production of its flagship Tata Nano, the only Renault-branded car on the market.
The announcement of Bhattwaj came in a letter to the Tata Sons board on Wednesday, in which he said, “I am a man of very high calibre and have the confidence to take Tata Motors to the next level.
Tata Motors has been working hard on a number on my behalf, and I have been asked to step aside.”
Bhatwsavs letter did not go into detail about the specific projects he will oversee.
Tata Sons, which has been operating for nearly 70 years, has no direct links to any parent company.
Tata has its own car and aviation business, which is controlled by a private equity group, Tata Power, with a controlling stake in the business.
Tata Motors, which made a $1.8 billion profit in 2015, has been reeling under the impact of the global financial crisis that has pushed the company’s business, in particular, its profitability, to a standstill.
The global financial market, which had a huge impact on Tata Motors and other Tata companies, has become much more volatile, with many companies being forced to sell assets or lay off workers.
The Tata Motors group is the world’s second largest auto maker, with about 8.5 lakh employees.