Jaguar Cars Ltd is
deeply saddened to announce the sudden death yesterday of Geoff Lawson, the company's
Director, Styling. He died after being admitted to hospital, having suffered a stroke. He
Geoff Lawson was born in Leicester, England in 1944. He studied Design at
Leicester College of Art and subsequently took a Masters Degree in Furniture Design at the
Royal College of Art in London. His thesis at the RCA was on American cars, one of his
After graduating he joined General Motors' British subsidiary, Vauxhall, in 1969 as a
designer. He subsequently worked on car and truck programmes in Europe and the USA for
General Motors, progressing to Chief Designer level. He was appointed Jaguar's Director,
Styling in 1984.
As the company's top designer he was responsible for producing a highly successful
series of new jaguars during the next 15 years. These included the X)220, the new X)6 and
X)8 saloons, the XK8 sports car and, most recently, the new S-TYPE saloon, all of which
attracted design awards and achieved worldwide sales success. His successful designs were
a highly influential factor in jaguar's transformation during the 1990s. During this
period he also led a major expansion in Jaguar's styling resources and facilities at the
company's Whitley Engineering Centre.
Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, Chairman of Jaguar Cars Ltd, paid the following tribute:
"Geoff Lawson was an internationally respected and very popular figure, well known
throughout the world's motor industry. He was a brilliant designer and his jaguar designs,
some launched and some yet to be launched, will always speak for themselves.
"His great gift was the ability to recognise the importance of classic styling
cues from the great jaguars of the past and then translate them into modern jaguars in a
new and contemporary fashion. He will be sorely missed.
"Our deepest sympathies are with his wife jill and their children, Adam and
Mike Beasley, Jaguar's Executive Director, Engineering and Manufacturing, added the
"We have lost a member of the jaguar family. Geoff Lawson made an immense
contribution to the renaissance of Jaguar. His undoubted talent and leadership sustained
jaguar's renowned design heritage and helped to establish an unprecedented product-led
expansion of the company.
"In addition to his great skill as a designer, he was a real character. He had a
great sense of humour and was immensely popular with all his colleagues. We shall miss
Geoff Lawson was well known for his diverse hobbies and interests which included
American cars, guns and shooting, model making, guitar playing and guitar design, mountain
biking, abstract art and sculpture.
He leaves a wife and two children.
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