Volvo’s British design chief has been appointed senior vice president design within the Chinese Geely Group which owns the Swedish carmaker.

Horbury’s association with Volvo goes back to 1991 when he became head of design and he has been credited with changing the company’s staid image to a more dynamic look.

In 2002, he took charge of design at Ford's Premier Automotive Group which comprised Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo, moving in 2004 to Detroit as executive director of design at Ford, returning to Volvo in 2009.

Volvo president and CEO Stefan Jacoby said: "Peter Horbury has played a very important role for Volvo's design during a long period of time and has a legendary position in the automotive world."

His replacement will be announced later.

Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Holding Group and Volvo Car Corporation, added: “I am delighted that Peter Horbury has accepted the offer to lead the design development of the Geely Group brands into the future. His vast experience in the industry will be key for the future success of Geely's products."