Land Rover has announced that Gerry McGovern will take over as Design Director for all Land Rover design with immediate effect. Current Design Director, Geoff Upex, is to retire from the company at the end of 2006 after 23 years service and, to ensure a smooth handover, will continue to play a key role in the launch of new products including the all-new Freelander2/LR2 over the coming months.
Gerry McGovern has been Director, Advanced Design, Land Rover, since 2004 and has spent the majority of his career with Land Rover and Rover Group in UK, apart from a short period with Lincoln-Mercury in the USA. Commenting on the move 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."
Ford Motor Company Group Vice President, Design and Chief Creative Officer, 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."
Commenting on his career at Land Rover, Geoff Upex said "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. 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."
J Mays also paid tribute to the contribution made by Geoff Upex. "His 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," he said.
Gerry McGovern to head Land Rover Advanced Design