Rajesh Khatri takes charge as CEO of Tata-Fiat JV

Khatri will steer the Ranjangaon factory which currently accounts for over 25% of Tata Motors' total production. The JV plant manufactures the Tata Nexon SUV and Jeep products.

By Ketan Thakkar and Shruti Mishra calendar 24 Dec 2022 Views icon13076 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Fiat India Automobiles (FIAPL), a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), has appointed Rajesh Khatri as its President and CEO with immediate effect. Khatri succeeds Ravi Gogia, who was handling the charge of the company's President since 2019.  

Prior to the new assignment, Khatri was the vice-president and head of operation of the passenger vehicle business at Tata Motors, helping the company de-bottleneck operations and the brand triple its output from 170,000 units to over half-a-million units in the last three years.  At present, the Ranjangaon plant in Maharashtra accounts for 25% of Tata Motors’ total output.

The Fiat India plant is being predominantly used by Tata Motors for Nexon SUV production (around 160,000 units) and accounts for between 75-80% of the plant’s output. About 20,000 to 25,000 Jeep products are also produced at this facility.  

According to people in the know, Mohan Savarkar, Vice President, Product Lines – Tata Motors Passenger Vehicles, has taken on additional responsibility as the interim operations lead. A Tata Motors spokesperson has confirmed the development.

In 2017, Tata Motors elevated Khatri as head of manufacturing operations of its passenger vehicle business unit. Earlier, he was also with TAL Manufacturing Solutions, a subsidiary of Tata Motors, as its executive director and CEO.

A Bachelor of Engineering in Production Engineering from VJTI – Mumbai University, he has global experience of over 35 years in manufacturing and business management in aerospace, engineering, construction equipment and large heavy engineering organisations. Khatri previously has been the chairperson for the Regional Council (West) and Director of The Indian Machine Tools Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA).

Turnover increases by 87% to over Rs 15,000 crore
As per the company's filing with the Ministry Corporate Affairs, sourced from Tofler, Fiat India Automobiles Pvt Ltd’s turnover grew by over 87% to about Rs 15,000 crore with profit after tax of Rs 630 crore in FY2022.

The company sold 139,809 vehicles during FY2022, higher by about 96% year on year in various variants for the domestic market. Export of 5,694 vehicles were a 30% YoY increase for right-hand-drive markets worldwide. The company started production of the Tata Nexon EV during the year.

The sale of Tata Nexons increased by about 94% YoY including 14,592 units of the Nexon EV. The sale of 224,086 units of engine units constituted a YoY increase about 103% and included engine supplies to Tata Motors and MG Motors. The C636 transmission production was higher by about 46% year on year.

The company enjoys a factory stuffing / self-sealing facility for exports until the end of 2023 and is AEO T3-certified by the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs under the Ministry of Finance till January 30, 2027, added a note from the company's director in the annual filing. 

Located in Maharashtra, FIAPL is the sole domestic manufacturer of the Tata Nexon and Jeep Compass models of Tata Motors. Additionally, the company manufactures petrol and diesel engines for the Indian passenger vehicle  market, with supplies primarily to PV OEMS such as Tata Motors, FCA India and MG Motors.

The company is also amongst the largest independent car diesel engine suppliers in the domestic market. Over the years, the company has benefited from the strong operational and managerial support from the promoter groups - Tata Motors and FCA Italy.

In November, rating agency ICRA upgraded FIAPL's rating to stable, driven by significant improvement in the operational performance of the company over recent years, backed by healthy volume offtake in both of its key business verticals – passenger vehicle (PV) manufacturing and powertrain manufacturing. 

"With healthy traction for the models manufactured or supplied by FIAPL in the domestic market, and expectations of developing FIAPL into an export hub for the Stellantis Group, its overall business prospects remain favorable," stated ICRA in its note. 

(With inputs from Shahkar Abidi) 

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