Jaguar Land Rover is parting company with its chief executive, David Smith, potentially clearing the way for former Opel and BMW boss Carl-Peter Forster to take control.
Forster has been linked with a senior role at JLR for some months and Tata Motors executives were rumoured to have been taking soundings on whether Forster was the right man for job.
A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman refused to comment on these reports, saying Smith's departure was a "confidential matter".
There’s no official word from Jag on the replacement for Smith except a statement saying “a replacement will be announced in due course”. The company spokesman said, however, that no timescale had been set to find a replacement.
In the meantime Tata Motors boss Ravi Kant will oversee JLR in conjunction with Jag boss Mike O’Driscoll and Land Rover boss Phil Popham.
Smith was JLR’s finance director and came to be highly regarded by Tata Motors during the Ford sell-off. He was the only candidate for the CEO job once Tata took control.
However, unlike many car company CEOs he lacked wider experience in production, engineering and marketing.
A Jaguar Land Rover spokesman did, however, deny that Smith's departure was connected to ongoing talks with Jaguar Land Rover's workforce regarding pay and pensions.
Talks on proposed changes to pay and pensions between Jaguar Land Rover bosses and unions broke down last week after six days of discussions.