Tata is struggling with its domestic sales strategy in India following the death last month of its managing director, reported the Nikkei Asian Review.

Former General Motors' executive Karl Slym, was recruited by Tata in 2012 to revive sales in its home market. He died following a fall from his hotel room in Bangkok in what police there believe was a suicide.

Tata Group chief Cyrus Mistry has taken the helm for the meantime and he now has to put together a new management team. Tata’s sales in India fell 38% on the year in the 10 months through January, to 169,371 vehicles, noted the Review.

Although India's overall car market dropped by 6% in that period, Tata suffered the steepest sales decline among major players. Since the US$2,000 Nano, aimed at attracting people from two-wheelers into four, flopped after its 2009 launch, the company has struggled to connect with Indian consumers.

The bottom line has been helped significantly by strong sales of Jaguar Land Rover which it acquired in 2008. Tata Motors logged a group net profit of US$839m for the October-December quarter of 2013, triple the year-earlier figure.

In India, much is riding on two new models which Tata unveiled at the Delhi Motor Show earlier this month. The Bolt, a compact hatchback, and the Zest, a compact sedan.