Land Rover design chief Gerry McGovern has been recognised as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List.

The British firm’s design director has helped shape a major overhaul of Land Rover’s range, with a key role in developing key models such as the Range Rover Evoque and Velar, and styling the reborn Defender that was unveiled earlier this year.

McGovern is one of 229 people due to receive the OBE from Her Majesty The Queen, and is the only UK automotive industry figure among almost a thousand in total to be recognised on the wider list of OBEs, MBEs, CBEs and other awards.

McGovern, 63, now has a design career stretching back more than four decades, and including early stints at Chrysler UK and Austin Rover Group. While at the latter, he led several key Land Rover model replacement programs.

After working at Lincoln and Ford/Ingeni, he returned to Land Rover as director of advanced design in 2004, appointed by Ford design supremo J Mays. He was appointed design director of Land Rover, in 2006 and as chief creative officer for the brand in 2008.


Gerry McGovern on the Defender and future projects

Gerry McGovern on the challenge of reinventing an icon

Behind the scenes at Land Rover’s design studio