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Taylor to take over Rolls-Royce design

Taylor made: Giles Taylor has the big shoes of Ian Cameron to fill at Rolls-Royce, but comes to the position with a high level of top British luxury car design experience.

Rolls-Royce promotes Giles Taylor to design chief as Ian Cameron prepares to retire

Rolls-Royce logo28 Jun 2012

By TERRY MARTIN

ROLLS-ROYCE has promoted its head of exterior design Giles Taylor to design director.

Reporting to senior vice-president of BMW Group Design Adrian van Hooydonk, the 44-year-old Mr Taylor replaces Ian Cameron, 62, who is stepping down from the role he has held since 1999 but will remain with the hallowed British marque as a brand ambassador until he retires in April next year.

Mr Taylor will be charged with creating a new-generation Phantom limousine, as well as rumoured coupe and convertible variants of the smaller Ghost.

He joined the Rolls-Royce design team in April 2011 after spending the previous 14 years at Jaguar Cars, rising to chief designer and working alongside design director Ian Callum on all key model programs.

Among a number of achievements at Jaguar, Mr Taylor is credited with the revolutionary redesign of the new-generation XJ.

He also served at PSA Peugeot Citroen as exterior designer from 1992 to 1997, during which time he transformed Citroen’s mundane ZX into the swoopier Xsara.

Mr Cameron joined the BMW Group in 1992 and has led the design of various models, including the E46 3 Series, E52 Z8 and L30 Range Rover.

At Rolls-Royce, he has overseen the Phantom (launched in 2003) and all subsequent Phantom and Ghost family models.

Earlier in his career he worked for Pininfarina in Turin and later became chief designer for Iveco-Fiat.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars president and CEO Torsten Mueller-Otvos said Mr Cameron’s “legendary design capabilities combined with his passion for the company’s distinguished heritage have made him an integral part of the success of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars” since BMW became custodian of the marque in July 1998.

“As his successor, Giles Taylor has a deep knowledge of emotive brands in the luxury segment and a proven track record, and is the perfect choice to lead the Rolls-Royce design team to future success,” he said.

Mr van Hooydonk said Mr Cameron’s deep understanding of the brand’s values and history had proven “invaluable” over the years, adding that Mr Taylor brought with him “exceptional design skills and a comprehensive understanding of British values and heritage that are so crucial to Rolls-Royce”.

Mr Taylor’s appointment comes just weeks after BMW promoted Karim Habib to head of design for its automobiles division.

As previously reported, Mr Habib took over from Mr van Hooydonk, who had assumed responsibility for BMW passenger car styling as part of his role as senior vice-president of design for the entire BMW Group.

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