On Sunday the motor industry lost one of its brightest stars in Karl Slym, the 51 year-old Managing Director of Tata Motors. Slym was found dead at the bottom of the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, from his 22nd floor room. It is presumed he committed suicide.

Image: Karl Slym, managing director of Tata Motors, looks on during news conference to announce their second quarter results in Mumbai

According to Thai local police, there were no visible signs of a struggle to show Slym had been in some kind of fight prior to the great fall. His hotel room windows are too small to have allowed for an accidental plunge and therefore he could not have gone through them involuntarily, so says the report. Apparently he also left a suicide note whose handwriting is being tested for authenticity.


Slym’s wife is said to have been present when the incident took place but is still too shocked to speak. No possible motive has so far been established for his death.

Karl Slym at Tata Motors stand at JIMS 2013

Slym was born in England and joined Tata Motors in 2012 from General Motors. He was spearheading the Indian brand’s revival with cars like the Aria family MPV, which was unveiled at the 2013 Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) by Slym himself – see pic above. Although Tata Motors owns both Jaguar and Land Rover – its most profitable businesses – Slym was only in charge of the Tata brand. JLR is run by German-born Dr. Ralf Dieter Speth.

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