The brand has successfully introduced crossovers such as the F-Pace but has struggled to engage customers with its sedans as customer tastes change.
Jaguar is dropping the XE midsize sedan from its U.S. lineup, citing tough competition from SUVs. The brand also is reducing engine options for the XE and XF sedans in Europe.
During his time as Land Rover’s design boss McGovern reinvented the SUV brand’s lineup, including modernizing the iconic Defender off-roader.
He discussed how he plans to modernize the replacement for the Range Rover, due next year.
“The current generation moved the game on significantly and this next one will, too,” he said.
McGovern’s new role overseeing the Jaguar and Land Rover brands comes just more than a year after the retirement of Jaguar’s long- serving head of design, Ian Callum, who sought to move the brand’s design away from its past, especially with the XJ large sedan.
The XJ’s design referenced the original 1968 car until 2010.
“That, unfortunately, gave Jaguar the reputation of being a traditional car company, when in reality it is a very modern and innovative car company,” Callum said just before his retirement. Callum’s new design direction for the XJ in 2010 broke from previous generations.
McGovern was named one of Automotive News Europe‘s 2020 Eurostars for his success at Land Rover, which regularly challenges bigger German brands such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW in the SUV market.
McGovern is 64 but said he is not considering retirement, adding, “I’m not done yet.”