Jaguar Land Rover has announced former Renault boss Thierry Bolloré will serve as its new Chief Executive Officer.
While at Renault, Mr Bolloré was reportedly considered a close ally of now-fugitive Carlos Ghosn – who headed Nissan-Renault and helped bring Mitsubishi into the alliance – and stepped down as CEO in October 2019 amid controversy.
Mr Bolloré spent less than 10 months in the Renault role and will now embark on a new challenge to reverse Jaguar Land Rover's recent profit slump.
Above: Thierry Bolloré
Current Jaguar Land Rover CEO Ralf Speth agreed to step down earlier this year as profits plummeted. Mr Speth will serve as a Non-Executive Vice Chairman when Mr Bolloré takes over in September.
“It will be my privilege to lead this fantastic company through what continues to be the most testing time of our generation,” the incoming boss said in a media statement.
“Jaguar Land Rover is known around the world for its peerless brand heritage, exquisite design, and deep engineering integrity.”
The COVID19 pandemic has dealt a crippling blow to the already struggling manufacturer, which has suffered a massive sales slowdown in addition to profit shortfalls.
In 2020 Jaguar Land Rover posted a pre-tax loss of £422 million (approximately AU$763 million) by March 31, and retail sales fell by 30.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2019.
The British brands have also struggled to find their rhythm in Australia and have experienced a sales slowdown over the past 18 months, despite the rollout of new models that were meant to drive growth.
US tariffs, a shift away from diesel in Europe, and faltering sales figures in China have all contributed to the brand’s decline.
Continued uncertainty around Brexit has also been cited as a major factor for Jaguar Land Rover's recent struggles.
In Australia, Jaguar sales have fallen by 33 per cent in the first six months of 2020 and Land Rover deliveries are down by 27.8 per cent – in a market that has slowed by 20.2 per cent over the same period.