As Butschek bids adieu, he leaves behind a “healthier and agile” Tata Motors

by Murali Gopalan 01 Jul 2021


As Guenter Butschek gets ready to shift into his new role as consultant, he feels “secure in the knowledge that Tata Motors is much healthier, agile and future-ready now than before and am much assured of the promising future ahead”.

These observations are part of the farewell note penned by Butschek on his last day as CEO and MD of Tata Motors on June 30. He will now take over as a consultant at a time when the company will need someone with his experience to steer the ship for a while.

“I look back with much pride, the honour of leading a fantastic organisation and team for over five years. Together, we have rebuilt , reinvented, strengthened and modernised our products, our business and our company,” continues Butschek.

This is where the motto of ‘Connecting Aspirations’ guided the team to “purposefully deliver” on a collective mission: “We innovate mobility solutions with passion to enhance the quality of life.”

As he elaborates on this point, it is about the team focusing on doing the right things — delighting customers, building safer and better vehicles, making Tata Motors the preferred place to work in, standing by its people and ecosystem partners, accelerating the drive to become greener and creating substantial value for shareholders.

“We overcame seemingly insurmountable challenges and traversed paths never walked before. We navigated surprising twists and turns, climbed the hurdles and mountains in ways never contemplated before,” says Butschek. 

In the process, this has just not made Tata Motors a better company but also “made us stronger and wiser as individuals”. In his view, there is every reason to be proud of “our many achievements together”. All in all, it reflected an “impressive display of teamwork, innovation and resilience”.

It will be interesting to see how Butschek handholds the transition process for the next phase of leadership at Tata Motors. Girish Wagh has been elevated to the board as Executive Director, which gives him a greater role in the commercial vehicle business. Shailesh Chandra will continue to steer the passenger car business which has seen a strong comeback in recent months.  

Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle business has posted sales of 64,386 units in Q1 FY2022, registering year-on-year growth of 342%. In June 2021, sales stood at 24,110 units, notching strong YoY growth of 111%.

In FY2021, amidst the pandemic, Tata Motors, achieved a remarkable turnaround in its passenger vehicle business, registering robust sales on the back of a young and dynamic product portfolio. The carmaker sold 222,025 units last fiscal. cocking 69% YoY growth.

As reported by this publication recently, Butschek’s presence is important at a time when the company has also been going through its share of senior management upheavals in recent times. Tata Motors will be particularly concerned about its bread-and-butter commercial vehicle business given that the segment has been facing fierce headwinds in recent months. 

Passenger car sales have been improving but there is no telling what the short-term has in store given the lockdowns and the consequent disruptions in the supply chain. The company has planned to spin off its car business as a joint venture but this could also be a challenge given the present circumstances of the pandemic and its impact on the economy.