The managing director of India’s automobile company Tata Motors has died in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday. Karl Slym, 51, was in the Thai capital where he was attending a board meeting. British-born Slym joined Tata Motors in 2012 and managed all operations except Jaguar Land Rover in UK. His death is suspected to be a suicide.
Reports say the Tata Motors chief was staying with his wife on the 22nd floor of the Shangri-La hotel. His body was found on the fourth floor. The window in his room was found opened and initial investigations reveal no sign of struggle and that he jumped out from the window. He left a three-page note in English which the Thai police are looking into it.
Tata Motors is part of Tata group of industries in India. It produces passenger cars, trucks, vans, coaches, buses, construction equipment and military vehicles. Tata Motors is world’s sixteenth-largest motor vehicle manufacturing company, fourth-largest truck manufacturer and second-largest bus manufacturer by volume.
The company acquired the South Korean truck manufacturer Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company in 2004 and purchased Jaguar Land Rover from Ford in 2008. It introduced the world’s cheapest car, Tata Nano (approx. US$2000) in 2008. Its UK passenger car division Jaguar Land Rover is doing well, however the rest of Tata Motors has been struggling. Competition from other local and foreign car makers has caused the company to lose market share in the Indian market.
Tata chairman Cyrus P Mistry described Mr. Slym as “a valued colleague who was providing strong leadership at a challenging time for the Indian auto industry”.