Giles TaylorBack in the day, a Rolls-Royce looked pretty much the same as a Bentley, but with a different grille. Once BMW took over Rolls-Royce, however, it was faced with the challenge of visually separating itself from its former sister brand. And most would agree that it did so pretty well. But its cars have looked pretty much the same ever since. What Rolls-Royce needs, then, is a bit of a design shake-up. And that's just what this latest appointment could bring.

After a baker's dozen years as design director at Rolls-Royce (and twenty years designing for the BMW Group altogether), Ian Cameron is retiring from his post. In his place, Rolls-Royce has named Giles Taylor as its new director of design. In his new capacity, Taylor will report directly to BMW Group chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk, and be responsible for all design matters related to the Rolls-Royce brand and its products.

Taylor was promoted to the role from his previous position as head of exterior design for the marque, a position he's held for barely more than a year. We'll be eagerly watching to see what the veteran British car designer has in store for the future of Rolls-Royce. In the meantime you can read the full announcement below.
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ROLLS-ROYCE APPOINTS NEW DESIGN DIRECTOR

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has announced that Giles Taylor has been appointed Design Director with effect from 1 July 2012 and will report to Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. Taylor replaces Ian Cameron, who retires from the role he has held since 1999.

After his design studies in the United Kingdom, Taylor initially gathered experience in several international design roles. The 44 year-old Briton spent 10 years as an executive designer in the British car industry, acting as head of design for two model series at Jaguar. He joined the Rolls-Royce design team in April 2011 as Head of Exterior Design.

Ian Cameron joined the BMW Group in 1992 and held leading design roles for several models, including the 3 Series model range, the Z8 and the Range Rover. In 1999 he was appointed to lead the new Rolls‑Royce design team, resulting in the launch of Phantom in 2003 and all subsequent Phantom and Ghost family models. Whilst Ian retires from his design role he will remain within the BMW Group until the onset of his retirement age in April 2013, dedicating his time to Rolls-Royce global heritage matters as Brand Ambassador within BMW Group Classic led by Karl Baumer.

Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said "I would like to thank Ian Cameron for his contribution to the resurgence of the Rolls-Royce marque. His legendary design capabilities combined with his passion for the company's distinguished heritage have made him an integral part of the success of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since the brand was acquired by the BMW Group. As his successor, Giles Taylor has a deep knowledge of emotive brands in the luxury segment and a proven track record, and is the perfect choice to lead the Rolls-Royce design team to future success."

Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, said, "On behalf of BMW Group Design, I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation for Ian's years of leadership and contribution to the Rolls-Royce brand. His deep understanding of Rolls-Royce values and history has proven invaluable.

Giles Taylor brings with him exceptional design skills and a comprehensive understanding of British values and heritage that are so crucial to Rolls-Royce; I have no doubt that he will successfully continue to develop the outstanding design ethos so successfully created by Ian Cameron and his team."

Ian Cameron said, "I feel very privileged to have led the design team for the renaissance of this most prestigious company and I am delighted to continue my relationship with Rolls-Royce in my new role as Brand Ambassador."