Julian Thomson to become director of design at Jaguar; Ian Callum takes on consultancy role

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Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum, is to leave his position after two decades with the company.  Julian Thomson, currently creative design director, will take on the role from July.

Since joining Jaguar in 1999, Callum (above) has built up the creative design team, established a new design philosophy, and revived the OEM’s vehicle range.

Callum said, “I have had an incredible career at Jaguar. One of my biggest highlights was creating XF because it represented the beginning of a new era, moving Jaguar from tradition to contemporary design – it was a significant turning point in our story. Designing the F-Type was a dream come true for me, and I-Pace was an opportunity to create something hugely innovative that would really challenge the perception of Jaguar – and its success is testament to just how far the brand has come.

“I came into this role with a mission to take Jaguar design back to where it deserved to be. It has taken 20 years, but I believe I have achieved what I set out to do. Given the strength of both our products and the design team I feel that now is the right time to move on, both personally and professionally, and explore other design projects. Designing Jaguar cars was a lifelong dream for me and I’m delighted to remain involved as a consultant for the brand. I have worked closely with Julian Thomson for 18 years – he is a hugely talented designer and absolutely the right person to lead Jaguar design into its next chapter.”

Callum spent the first 12 years of his career at Ford Design Studios, moving on to become chief designer of TWR Design where he was responsible for the Aston Martin DB7, Vanquish and DB9.

Prof. Dr Ralf Speth, JLR CEO, commented, “The contribution Ian Callum has made to Jaguar’s industry-leading design reputation cannot be overstated. Ian stands for the most forward-thinking, rule-breaking and emotive approach to automotive design.

“He has created a new Jaguar design language – and his passion for Jaguar has seen the range completely transformed during his 20 years in charge. Innovative, beautiful, future-facing and true to our pioneering heritage, Jaguar’s current and award-winning cars are testament to Ian’s dedication – you can see his ‘signature’ in each and every one.

“In my view, the World Car Design of the Year-winning F-Type, F-Pace and I-Pace – true game-changers – are perhaps his greatest achievements. I believe they will be future icons. Both personally, and on behalf of everyone at Jaguar, I would like to thank Ian for all he has done, and I am delighted he has committed to continue to be Jaguar’s brand ambassador as a design consultant.

“I’d also like to congratulate Julian in his new position as director of design. Now is Julian’s time to shape his team, and the next generation of Jaguars. I am excited about the future for Jaguar, and Julian continuing the brand’s position as a world-leader in automotive design.”

As creative design director, Julian Thomson (below) has been responsible for establishing the future strategic design direction for the brand. Since joining Jaguar in 2000, he has overseen the development of design concepts for the entire current product range. Thomson began his career at Ford in Dunton, UK, before moving to Lotus, where he became head of design, then chief of exteriors at Volkswagen Group’s concept design center.

Thomson said, “I’m honored to take up the position of director of design, Jaguar. It will be a great privilege to lead such a talented team, and continue to build on our success. Automotive design has always been fast moving, but today it is changing at a rate faster than ever before. I’m passionate about ensuring Jaguar design leads that change, and the cars that will drive our future.”

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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