Ask someone to name a few car designers, and there’s a good chance the first they’ll come up with is Ian Callum. He’s become a household name, and for good reason - his CV includes work on one of the prettiest cars ever made, the Aston Martin DB7, plus a multitude of Fords such as the Mondeo, Puma and Escort Cosworth.
His biggest achievement, however, can’t be pegged to a single car. Rather, it’s his efforts to drag Jaguar design into the 21st century. He joined as director of design in 1999, when Jaguar seemed to have an obsession with looking to the past, with mixed results.
His first production effort at the British company was the XK, followed up by the S-Type-replacing XF and an all-new XJ. During his tenure, the F-Type, XE, a second-generation XF and the Pace family of SUVs were all launched. An eventful career, but one that’s now come to an end, with Callum departing Jaguar at the end of the month.
From 1 July 2019, current creative design director Julian Thomson (below) will take his place. He’s been in the company almost as long as Callum, joining Jaguar in 2000. In other words, a safe pair of hands to ensure Jag products continue to be the attractive, understated and thoroughly modern vehicles we’ve come to know and love.
Looking back on his time at Jaguar, Callum - who’ll continue to work with the company as a consultant - said:
“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. Designing the F-TYPE was a dream come true for me, and I-PACE was an opportunity to create something hugely innovative that would really challenge the perception of Jaguar.”
Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Prof. Dr. Ralf Dieter Speth said:
“The contribution Ian Callum has made to Jaguar’s industry-leading design reputation cannot be over-stated.
“Ian stands for the most forward-thinking, rule-breaking and emotive approach to automotive design. He has created a new Jaguar design language – and his passion for Jaguar has seen the range completely transformed during his 20 years in charge.”