The much-celebrated head of design at Tata Motors, and the chief designer of successful cars like the Tata Nexon, Pratap Bose has quit the company. An internal memo was circulated earlier this week within the Tata Group that simply states, "Pratap Bose has decided to leave for better opportunities. He will proceed on leave for his remainder of (his) tenure." Tata has also decided that Pratap's deputy and head of the company's UK Design Centre, Martin Uhlarik will take over from Pratap, likely to ensure continuity in design language and styling in the company's portfolio. Pratap Bose has stepped away from active work as he serves out his notice period. Meanwhile, Tata Motors has announced that Martin Uhlarik will be new the Head of Design of the company with immediate effect.
Moving On! pic.twitter.com/qycbrBoYJZ— Pratap Bose (@BosePratap) April 29, 2021
Opening up about him leaving Tata Motors after working with the company for 14 years, Pratap Bose said, "I have had the privilege of working with 3 Chairmen; Mr. Ratan Tata, Mr. Cyrus P Mistry, and Mr. N Chandrasekaran. 5 Managing Directors; Mr. Ravi Kant, Mr. Prakash M Telang, Mr. Carl Peter Forster, Mr. Karl Slym, the inimitable Mr. Guenter Butschek, and the incredible Mr. Shailesh Chandra. All of them have taught me so much. I would also like to mention a whole host of brilliant colleagues across the country, our dealer partners and of course our suppliers. I can't thank you enough. It has been my honour to lead a committed team of talented design professionals across 3 global studios. Together, we created real IMPACT by doing some path breaking work and I wish them the very best of the future!"
Also Read: Top 5 Tata Cars Designed By Pratap Bose
Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors, said, "I am delighted to announce the appointment of Martin Uhlarik as the new Global Design Head of Tata Motors. Martin is an experienced automobile designer with deep domain knowledge of design, keen understanding of international trends and extensive operational experience with leading automobile companies in several geographies. His rich experience and expertise will inspire our teams to further enhance our vehicle design philosophy and language. I take this opportunity to also thank Pratap for his services and wish him the best for the future."
Pratap Bose was awarded the carandbike Automotive Person of the Year at the carandbike Awards held in March, to recognise his stellar achievements over the past year. Bose has been credited with a large part of the turnaround seen at Tata over the past 3-4 years. Starting with the Tiago hatchback, then the Tigor and Hexa, his team's design work has propelled the brand in to contention once again.
Later models like the and then the Harrier, Nexon (and Nexon EV), the new Tata Safari, and the Tata Altroz premium hatch have also added to that, and we have seen Tata enjoying the highest monthly sales seen in several years. The Tata Altroz in fact also won the Car Design of the Year 2021 award at the carandbike awards. At the 2020 carandbike Auto Expo Excellence Awards too, Bose had won Best Design of Show with his Sierra concept.
History was made when Bose was also shortlisted as a finalist for the very prestigious World Car Person of the Year at the 2021 World Car Awards. While he didn't win, it was the first time an Indian, that too a designer was part of such an elite shortlist. His co-finalists were Mazda MX-30 Chief Engineer Tomiko Takeuchi, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung, the same group's Chief Creative Officer Luc Donckerwolke, and the eventual winner - President of Toyota Motor Corporation, Akio Toyoda.
Bose has a slew of awards under his belt, over his 14 year long career at Tata Motors. His first design project for the company was the Safari Storme. That it ends with the new Safari, is almost poetic! We will watch closely where Bose is headed next. We have been able to ascertain only that he will continue to live in the UK as he currently does. This writer has reached out to Bose as well, and given the time difference to the UK, we shall update this story to include his response, if any.