Jaguar Land Rover named former Renault SA head Thierry Bollore its next chief executive officer to help steer the U.K. carmaker out of a prolonged sales slump that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bollore, 57, will take charge of the manufacturer of luxury sports cars and SUVs when Ralf Speth steps down as CEO in September, JLR said in a statement Tuesday.
The Frenchman is taking the helm as auto demand remains under pressure after the initial easing of Covid-19 related shutdown measures weighed on economies around the world early this year. Unprofitable JLR was already grappling with a sales downturn, uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union, stricter emissions rules impacting its sport utility vehicles, and a dip in exports to China — one of its biggest markets — before the health crisis hit.
A former No. 2 at Renault, Bollore rose to the top job after the arrest of Carlos Ghosn in 2018. He was ousted when tensions with partner Nissan Motor Co. came to a head last October. Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said then that Bollore had to go to revive the relationship with its Japanese peer.
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