"The untimely death of Slym is not only a loss to the Tatas but to the entire Indian automotive industry," said DS Rawat, secretary general, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), in a statement.

"Slym strongly believed that revival of the automotive industry at this critical juncture essentially requires synergetic efforts by all stakeholders,” he said.

According to Rawat, Slym was instrumental in setting up ASSOCHAM's national automotive council and was also its founding chairperson.

Industry lobby Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) also condoled Slym's death, and called him a well-wisher of the industry.

"Karl was always a staunch supporter of SIAM and had earlier served as the chairman of SIAM passenger car council," Vikram Kirloskar, president, SIAM, said in a statement.

"He had served on the SIAM executive committee since 2007 as an elected member. We have lost a well-wisher in Karl at a time when the company as well as the industry most needed his global expertise, leadership and guidance," he said.

Tata Motors chairman Cyrus Mistry was quoted in a statement: "I am deeply saddened to inform you about the untimely and tragic demise of our company's managing director Karl Slym. Karl joined us in October 2012 and was a valued colleague who was providing strong leadership at a challenging time for the Indian auto industry.”

In his new assignment at Tata Motors, Slym was responsible for overhauling the company's operations. He was also roped in to reposition the entry-level hatchback Nano and for the launch of vehicle and engine variants to arrest the slide in company sales.

Before joining Tata Motors, Slym was associated with General Motors in China and India. He was responsible for handling all of Tata Motors' operations apart from its luxury arm of Jaguar Land Rover.

According to the company, Slym, a British national, was visiting Bangkok to attend the board meeting of Tata Motors Thailand. Tata officials here said that the exact cause of the tragedy would be known after the Thailand police perform an autopsy on him on Monday.

Media reports from Bangkok suggest that Slym might have fallen from the hotel window. However, Thai police said that they are not ruling out the possibility of a suicide angle in Slym's demise. Slym was staying on the 22nd floor of the Shangri-La hotel in Bangkok.

(Agencies)

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