Boss of Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover steps down

A spokesman said on Monday the departure of David Smith was not linked to the breakdown of talks last week between management and unions over pay and conditions.

"We are disappointed the discussions ended without agreement, but his departure is not linked to the talks," the spokesman said. Jaguar Land Rover, which is part of India's Tata Motors, has been trying to seek a reduction in wages and pension provisions for newly hired staff as part of a "strategic review".

Tata Motors bought Jaguar Land Rover from US carmaker Ford for 1.4 billion pounds ($2.3 billion) in 2008. The firm is known to want to trim the wages of new employees by 20 percent and close its final salary pension scheme to new staff.

Analysts said Smith' departure was likely to be linked to "possible disagreements over strategy" with the firm's new owners. Jaguar Land Rover saw sales fall by 26 percent across the firm's two brands in 2009.

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