Design Julian Thomson director leaves Jaguar

Design Julian Thomson director leaves Jaguar

Less than two years into his role, the man who replaced Ian Callum as design director has announced he is leaving Jaguar.


Julian Thomson ends his tenure with Jaguar five months after Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern was promoted above him to join the Jaguar Land Rover board as chief creative officer across both brands. Callum tweeted his reaction when news first broke of his successor’s departure on 5 May. “So sad and disappointed to see Julian Thomson leave Jaguar Design, especially at a time when Jaguar needs directors of such a high calibre, leadership skills and talent. I wish Julian the very best for whatever he does next. He will be sorely missed.”

Thomson (right) started his career at the British company in 2000 after tenures at Ford, Volkswagen and Lotus, where he designed the original Elise from 1996. He spent the majority of his time at Jaguar as the brand’s creative design director, responsible for establishing the brand’s future look. He was responsible for the important R-Coupe and R-D6 concepts from 2001 and 2003, respectively, that broke away from the past and paved the way for a new style of Jaguar. It is not known where Thomson will move to and there has been no news yet as to who will replace him, although rumours suggest a Land Rover design executive will take over the reins.

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Aaron McKay Aaron McKay 2 years ago #

You may well question why we are reporting the loss of Jaguar’s latest design director in Classic Jaguar? It is our view is that each generation of designers from Sir William Lyons and Malcolm Sayer all the way through to Ian Callum have created iconic models which are either now regarded as classics or will be in the future. Prior to Julian Thomson’s 21-year stint at JLR where his credits included the R-coupe and RD-6 concept cars from the early 2000s, he worked at Lotus for 12 years during which time he penned the iconic Elise S1 in 1996.

These achievements alone gave us every reason to believe there were exciting times ahead as his vision for Jaguar became a reality. Upon hearing the news, Ian Callum ‘tweeted’ his disappointment at the loss to Jaguar of such high calibre talent. Callum himself left in 2019, compounding Wayne Burgess’ departure the same year, this now leaves Jaguar with none of the long-term triumvirate team in place. Thomson has not yet revealed his plans for the future, and neither have JLR announced who is to be his successor.

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