Dr. Ralf Dieter Speth, (born 9 September 1955 in Roth, Bavaria) is a German automotive executive, currently chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover, following previous roles with BMW, Linde and Ford's Premier Automotive Group.
Speth was awarded a degree in Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim, Germany. He later undertook a Doctorate of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration at The University of Warwick.
Speth started his automotive career with BMW in 1980 and worked for them for twenty years.
In 2002 he joined The Linde Group and served as Head of Global Operations and as Vice President of Operations. He was also Chief Operating Officer and Member of Executive Board at its subsidiary KION Group GmbH.
In 2007 Speth returned to the car industry and joined Ford Motor Company's Premier Automotive Group (PAG) as Director of Production, Quality and Product Planning. Following the sale of two of the PAG marques, Jaguar and Land Rover, to Tata, he became Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) in February 2010, and a Non-Executive Director of Tata Motors in November 2010.
Under Speth's management, JLR has increased the company's workforce significantly. “We have added more than 17,000 people in the course of the last five years,” he said in an interview published in June 2015. Speth champions the need for R&D and makes much of JLR's investment in R&D. “I guess we are the biggest R&D investor in the UK in the automotive business,” he claims.
In the 2015 Special Honours list, Speth was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the automotive industry.
On 25 October 2016, Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, was appointed as an Additional Director to the board of Tata Sons.
He is married, with two children, and lives in Leamington Spa and Munich.