Former Mahindra South Africa (Mahindra SA) boss Ashok Thakur has been appointed CEO of KLT Automotive and Tubular Products South Africa (KLT Automotive SA).
Thakur, 60, has been involved in international business in Africa for the past 25 years.
He took up his new position after retiring from Mahindra on April 1.
Thakur was Mahindra SA’s CEO for six years. Following this, he was responsible for the Indian conglomerate’s automotive and agricultural interests in Africa.
He returned to India in 2018, where he took up the position of public affairs VP for the Mahindra Group’s engagement with government at central and state level until his retirement.
The South African subsidiary of the KLT Group was established in 2009 as a Tier 1 supplier of automotive chassis to vehicle manufacturers.
Thakur has been charged with developing and driving KLT’s ten-year vision to lift the company to the next level in terms of product expansion and diversification, while also increasing production volumes.
KLT is a well-known chassis and tubing supplier in India, with customers such as Tata, Mahindra, Daimler, Ashok Leyland and Volvo/Eicher.
KLT Automotive SA, a subsidiary of KLT, currently employs more than 700 people.
The South African entity operates four plants, located in Hammanskraal, Johannesburg, Brits and East London, under the KLT and AVMY Steel Science banners and has invested more than R500-million in its South African operations.
The local entity manufactures automotive components such as chassis, B-pillars and various pressed steel components, while it also supplies nonautomotive parts, such as tubular products and rolled-form sections.