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Geely opens new UK studio, hires JLR’s Wayne Burgess

01 February 2019 | by Chris Maillard

Ambitious Chinese brand Geely have announced yet another expansion – they are opening a new design studio in Coventry, where they aim to house around 100 designers. And they've hired Wayne Burgess from JLR, where he was Design Director, to head up the new facility.

“The addition of Geely Design UK showcases Geely’s commitment to the UK,“ said Peter Horbury, Executive Vice President of Design for Geely Auto Group, “and also shows Britain’s leading position in the areas of creativity and design. Wayne brings with him a wealth of experience in premium car design which will help us develop our brands.”

Wayne, who will become Vice President of Geely Design UK, said: “I am looking forward to working closely with Peter and the wider Geely Design team. Geely Design has moved quickly to establish itself over the past five years, growing to become one of the strongest teams in the automotive design field.”

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Lynk & Co (here’s their 01) will be one of the brands the new studio will support

According to the firm, Geely Design UK will expand to include around 100 designers and support staff within the next five years and will support the in-house design functions of the Geely Auto Group portfolio, which includes Geely Auto, Lynk & Co, Proton and Lotus, as well as support for the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC).

A Coventry graduate, Wayne joined JLR in 1997, and apart from a two-year stint at Aston Martin Lagonda, has been at the company ever since. Judging by his social media posts, he will miss the company cars, but had a splendid send-off from Ian Callum and the JLR team.

Coventry is rapidly becoming a hotspot for UK vehicle design. Other than the highly-regarded University’s design course, there is now the recently-completed National Transport Design Centre, which has just announced its new director, and other major marques in the area include Tata and Bentley.