When Gerry McGovern, joined the board of West Midlands firm Jaguar Land Rover, the company had new owners, Tata Motors of India, and an uncertain future.
But as chief creative officer of Land Rover he fashioned a design-led revolution at the brand, introducing the lauded Range Rover Evoque – despite internal scepticism – and helping to boost the company to best ever sales and record profit. And with its new expansion into China, McGovern has insisted the company stays true to its British aesthetic, refusing to “dilute” the brand. But then, as McGovern says of himself, in his office laden with meticulously styled Italian furniture: “I consider myself predominantly a designer, not a car nut.”
Gerry McGovern talks about:
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- How he fought for the Range Rover Evoque.
- His battles to insist on the primacy of design in the utilitarian Land Rover.
- Creating 250 new jobs in Halewood, Merseyside, and boosting JLR’s total UK employment to 32,000.
- Why he collects art rather than cars.
- Why he killed off the much-loved Land Rover defender – and possible plans for its rebirth.