Change in Design Chiefs at Land Rover
NEWS ON RADIO
15th August, 2006
Land Rover announced, yesterday, that its highly regarded Design Director, Geoff Upex, is to retire from the company at the end of 2006 after 23 years service.
He will be succeeded by Gerry McGovern, currently Director, Advanced Design, Land Rover, who will assume responsibility for all Land Rover design with immediate effect. To ensure a smooth handover, Geoff will stay with the company until the end of the year and will continue to play a key role in the launch of new products including the all-new Freelander 2.
"These have been some of the best years of my life and it has been a privilege to lead the Land Rover design team through such an exciting time," said Geoff Upex. "In particular the last six years must have been some of the most rewarding anyone in our business could hope to have. We have completely revitalised Land Rover and now have a world class model line-up. In many ways you could argue that strong product design has helped to give Land Rover the foundations for continued and future success by creating some of the world’s most acclaimed and distinctive vehicles."
Commenting on the move, Geoff Polites, CEO of Jaguar and Land Rover (and formerly a President of Ford Australia), said: "It is very sad to see Geoff go and I want to thank him for his crucial role in guiding Land Rover Design to achieve an unparalleled level of success in recent years. However, in Gerry McGovern we have the ideal successor. He is another hugely talented designer with a strong reputation and enviable track record at Land Rover Design as well as outside the brand."
Ford Motor Company Group Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, J Mays, said; "Geoff Upex’s talent and passion for both design and the brand are evident on every product in the current Land Rover line-up – it is an achievement worth celebrating. Like all great designers, he understands the crucial connection between brand and product and knows how to translate it into sheet metal. He can also lay claim to influencing some of the most credible and significant automotive products in recent history, including the current Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery 3/LR3 and the all-new Freelander 2/LR 2."
J Mays says he is confident about the brand’s future designs, to be developed under Gerry McGovern’s direction. "In Gerry, we have one of the best designers in the industry – his experience with Land Rover dates back more than 15 years, and his understanding of how to marry the brand’s values with modernist design will carry Land Rover well into the future," he said.
Commenting on the move Gerry McGovern said; "I have really enjoyed working with Geoff (Upex) and appreciate the experience that has given me. I take over Land Rover design at an exciting time, with the brand in excellent health and still with huge potential. We face new challenges and I look forward to working with one of the most talented groups of designers in the industry."
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