Autos Cars

Jaguar’s Design Chief Is Starting His Own Company

Ian Callum Jaguar

Before making a name for himself during a two-decade tenure at Jaguar, Ian Callum, the design chief worked very intimately with engineers and designers from Aston Martin on the DB7 and DB9 as well as the Vanquish and Vantage.

Throughout his career, Jaguar’s now-former chief of design has influenced vehicles including the Aston Martin DB series and Jaguar vehicles ranging from the original XK to the I-Pace.

With so many impressive projects under his belt, Jaguar’s former design chief could likely seek employment anywhere, but he has chosen to work on passion projects and help others solve their problems in real-time. Callum is starting his own consulting company.

What type of consulting will Callum provide?

Callum’s firm will provide improvement and design consulting on models that the CEO and founder, Ian Callum helped design. He is a contractual brand ambassador for Jaguar, meaning he may retain some design rights to models which he has helped to design and produce. If he is able to retain some of these rights, he should be able to help Jaguar with future vehicles as an external consultant.

It is presently unclear whether or not Callum has any sort of functional relationship with Aston Martin, which employed Ian Callum for several years. Regardless of a potential working relationship with Aston Martin, Callum may reach out to other automakers to provide design and engineering consulting services, effectively broadening their potential market impact. 

Callum could also, likely provide marketing consulting and similar services to clients in an early exploratory capacity, allowing them to work with internal marketing teams and gain insight into new and emerging techniques for marketing. 

How many employees will work to implement the vision of Callum?

Callum, who provided his surname as the namesake for his personal business, intends to employ 18 individuals to fulfill his vision. He has not stated intentions against or in favor of expanding the operation. In order to uphold the vision of a design consultancy, employees must consistently seek new inspiration. Inspiration can be the emotion behind a throaty V8 rev or the tears in a new vehicle owner’s eyes once they have secured their automobile. 

One such piece of inspiration they may find is the Aston Martin Valkyrie, an 1,160 hp naturally aspirated hybrid road car which has a power to weight ratio of under two to one. Employees under Callum can seek inspiration from any number of sources to further develop the vehicles which Ian set out to create and design over the last two or three decades. 

How long does Ian intend to lead Callum?

According to Car and Driver, Ian Callum, 65, expects to have around 15 effective years with which to lead the consultancy. He has voiced no intentions of what will happen once he has reached this point, though many car lovers would likely enjoy seeing his work continue to shine through in luxury vehicles such as Aston Martin and Jaguar. 

Believing that his design usefulness will expire around age 80, Callum is wasting no time in bringing a team together and helping them get organized, then start pulling in the same direction. With an expected 15-year leadership role, Callum is setting a decisive timeline for the shape of the automotive industry in the next decade and a half. 

Callum is positioned to break into the automotive design consulting space with a bang, but which vehicle manufacturers it will work with and how it will manage their clientele will ultimately determine its viability in the modern automotive space. 

The market is becoming increasingly finicky, press cars are subject to ever-increasing expectations, and carmakers are struggling to keep up. Sure, consultants can help, but only if they can gain insight of the space and any level of conceptualization for their target market.