Tata Motors appoints GM's Karl Slym as MD

NEW DELHI/BEIJING Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:24pm IST

New cars awaiting despatch at Tata Motor's plant in Pune, September 14, 2004. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe/Files

New cars awaiting despatch at Tata Motor's plant in Pune, September 14, 2004.

Credit: Reuters/Punit Paranjpe/Files

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NEW DELHI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Karl Slym, the executive vice president of one of General Motors' joint ventures in China, left the company after less than a year in the job on Tuesday to join Tata Motors as managing director.

Slym joins Tata Motors at a time when the Indian company has warned about sales at home and amid renewed doubts about the sales outlook for its key Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary.

Slym headed the India operations for General Motors from 2007 until last year and took over as executive vice president at SAIC GM Wuling Automobile Co, GM's joint venture in China that produces no-frills micro-vans, in January.

SAIC GM Wuling is based in Liuzhou in the southern China region of Guangxi. The company sold 686,720 Wuling cars during the first half of this year, up 13.6 percent from the year-ago period.

GM had no issues with Slym's management of the China joint venture, people familiar with the matter said.

Slym, who will take up his new role on October 1, will now lead all Tata Motors operations in India and overseas, although the company's popular luxury unit Jaguar Land Rover will be managed independently, Tata Motors said in a statement on Tuesday.

Slym will succeed P.M. Telang, who retired in June, Tata Motors said. A General Motors statement said it will name a replacement for Slym "at a later date."

Tata Motors, India's biggest truck and bus maker, posted a 3.6 percent fall in vehicle sales for April-June. The India business profit nearly halved to 2.1 billion rupees.

Slym, in his previous India role, was perceived to be media-friendly and is familiar with the country's lucrative low-cost engineering and manufacturing base. He appeared on a television commercial flaunting the "Chevrolet promise."

(Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in NEW DELHI and Norihiko Shirouzu in BEIJING; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier; Editing by Ken Wills)

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