In an announcement that has taken the Indian automobile industry by surprise, Tata Motors has, in a regulatory filing, said that Marc Llistosella, who was to join Tata Motors as its CEO and Managing Director effective from July 1, 2021 , will not be joining the company as its CEO and Managing Director as previously announced on February 12, 2021 . Guenter Butschek will continue as the CEO & Managing Director till June 30, 2021.
It is not known what exactly transpired to Llistosella not joining the company as planned. A month ago, Llistosella had said, "I am delighted to become a part of the unique Tata family. Having been bonded to India for so many years, a new exciting chapter is now opened. We would jointly awaken the potential of Tata Motors."
Tata Motors’ move to hire Marc Llistosella was apparently a clear indication of its intent to strengthen its commercial vehicle business. This was expected to be the focus going forward even while the passenger car unit will be spun off as a separate company in the coming months.
Llistosella’s biggest advantage was that he is no stranger to India, having set up Daimler India Commercial Vehicles from scratch, which means he would be more than aware of the different regional dynamics within this large landscape.
“Llistosella played a huge role in setting up Daimler’s bus and truck unit in India. In fact, if it hadn't been for him, the company may not have even managed to take off the way it did in the initial years,” an industry veteran tracking the CV industry told Autocar Professional. BharatBenz as a brand has come quite a way since the time it was established a little over a decade ago. Llistosella was the first MD of the Chennai-based company, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), which has grown over the years as a serious challenger to Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland.
It is this aggression and focus that Llistosella was expected to bring to the table. But for now Tata Motors’ search for a new person at the helm of affairs continues. Current CEO and MD Guenter Butschek is to relocate to Germany at the end of his contract for personal reasons.