Gerry McGovern has been named director, Advanced Design for Land Rover, and will be working alongside Geoff Upex, who continues as Design director for Land Rover.

“Gerry is uniquely suited to this role,” said J Mays, Ford Motor Company’s group vice president of Design. “He’s already shown the world that he fully understands Land Rover’s DNA, having led the team that designed Freelander. Since then, Gerry’s work at Lincoln-Mercury and Ingeni has demonstrated his ability to clearly define brand and product strategies by understanding diverse international markets.”

In this new role, McGovern will report to both Mays and Hans Gustavsson, director of Product Development, Jaguar and Land Rover.

Land Rover’s managing director Matthew Taylor said, “Land Rover’s intense period of product launches is gathering momentum, and we want to further accelerate our ability to introduce fresh new products. The all-new Land Rover Discovery 3 received a tremendous reaction at the New York Auto Show, and our first-ever concept vehicle – the Range Stormer – has had strong reviews since its worldwide debut in January.”

He added: “With this appointment, we’re aiming to further strengthen our talented design team to capitalise on the huge potential and growth opportunities for this great brand. Two of the world’s top designers – Gerry and Geoff – will help drive and execute our vision and growth. Gerry’s experience in the U.S. will also prove invaluable as we set our sights on improving our appeal in this key market.”

McGovern, who will be based in Gaydon with Upex, has been director of Ingeni, Ford Motor Company’s London-based design and creativity centre. Ingeni’s team of multi-disciplinary designers created vehicles and concepts for the company’s eight brands, designed luxury goods for the Premier Automotive Group brands and created products – including cell phones, furniture and airplane interiors – for outside companies.

Cash-strapped Ford decided late last year to shut Ingeni and redeploy Ingeni designers to core product programmes.

Before assuming the top post at Ingeni in August 2003, McGovern was Lincoln-Mercury Design director – his first design job upon joining Ford Motor Company in 1999.

McGovern was previously studio director of Land Rover for the Rover Group in Warwickshire, England, where he was responsible for key Land Rover products. Whilst at Rover, he also played a significant role in creating other production vehicles within the Rover Group portfolio – most notably the MGF roadster.

Early in his career, McGovern also worked with Chrysler Corporation, both in the UK and America. He also worked at Peugeot as a senior product designer working on design proposals for car and truck model ranges.