In the history of the automobile, a few designers have exercised an outsized influence through their innovations and creativity. These design geniuses fashioned the esthetics of many different brands, and in doing so have touched the emotions of countless car lovers and motorists.
The 1950s saw Harley Earl at GM and Virgil Exner at Chrysler shape their era, while Chris Bangle at BMW was a notable figure in the industry some 20 years ago. Then there are the stylists like
Giorgetto Giugiaro, Marcello Gandini and Paul Bracq, who created more than their share of spectacular cars over the decades.
By any measure, the list of top figures in car design has to include Ian Callum, known and renowned for his long association with British automaker Jaguar, where he has been design director for the past 20 years.
The creations of the designer who joined the firm in 1999 include the magnificent F-Type as well as the XE, XF and XJ sedans. The new F-PACE and I-PACE SUVS? Also his.
“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 ... 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."
- Ian Callum
Jaguar has named creative design director Julian Thompson as Callum’s replacement. The designer has been with the automaker since 2000 and has overseen the development of concept designs across the company’s product range. Like the man he’s replacing, Thompson got his start at Ford. He followed that with stints at Lotus and Volkswagen.
As for Callum, after his first passage at Ford, he became head of design at TWR, where he led the development of the designs for the Aston Martin DB7 and DB9. Though he plans other design projects, he will continue to serve as a consultant for Jaguar.