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Jaguar Land Rover names former Ford, BMW exec Speth as CEO

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Jaguar Land Rover names former Ford, BMW exec Speth as CEO

Paul McVeigh

Automotive News -- February 18, 2010 - 3:58 pm ET

Jaguar Land Rover named Ralf Speth, a former BMW and Ford executive, as CEO.

He replaces David Smith, who resigned last month. Speth, 54, has 22 years experience in the auto industry, mostly with BMW AG. His last job with the German premium carmaker was vice president of Land Rover, when BMW owned the brand.

Speth became director of production, quality and planning for Ford Motor Co.'s Premier Automotive Group when BMW sold Land Rover to Ford in 2000.

He was most recently head of global operations at Germany's Linde Group, a gases and engineering company.

Speth worked closely with current Linde Chairman Wolfgang Reitzle at BMW, PAG and Linde. Reitzle, a former No. 2 at BMW, was head of PAG overseeing the Volvo, Jaguar, and Land Rover marques until 2002.

Speth will report to Carl-Peter Forster, the former head of General Motors Co.'s European unit who this week was appointed group CEO of India's Tata Motors, which bought Jaguar Land Rover from Ford in 2008.

Ravi Kant, Tata Motors vice chairman, said the appointments of Speth and Forster will enhance the reputation of the Jaguar Land Rover brands in line with Tata's long-term strategy.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100218/COPY01/302189950/1193#ixzz0fvmPEdA8

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