Car Industry

Jaguar design boss Ian Callum officially steps down

From the original XF to the brand-new I-Pace, Ian Callum has truly transformed Jaguar's design language.

Jaguar

Jaguar is a car brand best defined by its vehicles' design. From the XJ sedan to the newest I-Pace electric crossover, every single product in the Jaguar portfolio is stunning to behold -- visually aggressive, yet totally beautiful at the same time.

Ian Callum is the man responsible for this great work; he joined Jaguar in 1999 and has been the company's director of design ever since. That's all about to change, however, according to a Jaguar statement released Tuesday. Ian Callum is leaving Jaguar, and will be replaced by Creative Design Director Julian Thomson, effective July 1.

Ian Callum joined Jaguar in 1999.

Jaguar

"I have had an incredible career at Jaguar," Callum said in a statement. "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."

Indeed, the 2007 XF sort of blew the dust off Jaguar's classic, old-world designs. Callum then went on to design the XJ, followed by the gorgeous C-X75 Concept. Then came F-Type, XE, F-Pace, E-Pace and most recently, I-Pace, which was honored with the World Car Design of the Year and World Car of the Year awards at the New York Auto Show in April.

"Designing the F-Type was a dream come true for me," Callum said, "and I-Pace was an opportunity to create something hugely innovative that would really challenge the perception of Jaguar."

Prior to Jaguar, Callum penned a number of legendary designs, starting with the 1984 Ford RS200 rally car and 1989 Escort Cosworth. Callum is also credited with the Aston Martin DB7, Volvo C70 and Aston Martin Vanquish, among others. Callum's younger brother, Moray, is currently vice president of design for the Ford Motor Company.

Callum's successor, Julian Thomson, has been with Jaguar since 2000, where he most recently oversaw all of the design concepts that previewed the company's current model range. Prior to Jaguar, Thomson worked for Ford, Lotus and the Volkswagen Group.

We'll be interested to see how Thomson leaves his mark on the Jaguar brand, and no doubt, Ian Callum is an incredibly tough act to follow. Even so, Jaguar confirms Callum will continue to work with the brand as a design consultant. Considering how successful the current designs are, that seems like a smart move to us.