One of the most as­ton­ish­ing suc­cess sto­ries in the automotive in­dus­try is Jaguar Land Rover’s re­cov­ery from the brink of clos­ing fac­to­ries to be­come one of the world’s lead­ing man­u­fac­tur­ers of pre­mium lux­ury ve­hi­cles. Land Rover’s de­sign di­rec­tor and chie

Land Rover AFRICA Magazine - - TECHNICAL - Land Rover’s de­sign di­rec­tor and chief cre­ative of­fi­cer, Gerry McGovern An­ton Pre­to­rius

De­sign has proved its worth to Jaguar Land Rover over the years. By the quar­ter end­ing June last year, Jaguar Land Rover’s rev­enue reg­is­tered a 31 per cent year-on-year growth while pre-tax profit leapt to a record £924 mil­lion (R18 bil­lion) in March 2015. March was also the month in which Land Rover sold nearly 50 000 ve­hi­cles glob­ally – a 13 per cent in­crease on the same pe­riod last year. But it wasn’t al­ways such a rosy pic­ture for the au­tomak­ers. In truth, the suc­cess of JLR took many an­a­lysts, in­vestors and naysay­ers by sur­prise, many of whom said that Tata, the In­dian auto com­pany, was mak­ing an ex­pen­sive mis­take when it bought JLR from Ford Mo­tors in June 2008 for $2.3 bil­lion (R28 bil­lion). At the time, Ford sold JLR out of des­per­a­tion to en­sure its own sur­vival for sev­eral mil­lion dol­lars less than what it had orig­i­nally paid. Tata did what few com­pa­nies from emerg­ing mar­kets had been able to do – turn around and suc­cess­fully over­see a trou­bled Western com­pany. Gerry McGovern, born in Coven­try, United King­dom, was a big ad­vo­cate of the new part­ner­ship. Ac­cord­ing to him, Tata’s key to suc­cess was al­low­ing Jaguar Land Rover the free­dom to de­sign ve­hi­cles as best as the Bri­tish au­tomaker could.

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