than five decades ago when Roger Crathorne joined Land Rover he could never
have imagined that this British iconic company he worked for would someday sell
products all over the world and more so in places like China and even in India.
Nor would he have imagined that the company would be bought lock, stock and
barrel by India’s leading automobile company Tata Motors. But all that is
history and Roger is retiring and he is one of the best known and most highly
respected Land Rover employees.
Roger was born in the year when India got its Independence and that too from a
British regime. The year was 1947. Roger Crathorne’s last day in the office
will be March 28, 2014. From Royalty, VIP customers and senior military figures
to journalists from all over the world, global explorers and countless
generations of company management, Roger is known simply as ‘Mr Land Rover’,
said a company report.
an instructor, he has passed on his vast knowledge and experience of off-road
driving in the world’s most inhospitable regions to thousands of people; all
with passion and patience. For an
employee who has made immense contribution, even the CEO of the company has
something positive to say about him.
Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, commented: “Roger has been instrumental
in the development and promotion of Land Rover’s breadth of capabilities for
over half a century. His enthusiasm, vehicle knowledge and his deep
understanding of the philosophy of the company, right back to the beginning, is
unsurpassed. Roger has been an outstanding advocate for Land Rover, and his
contribution has undoubtedly played a part in the global success we are
enjoying today. He will be missed and I wish him all the best for the future.”
joined Land Rover in 1963 as an apprentice, but the story of his association
with the company starts even earlier than that. Roger was born in 1947 in Lode
Lane, Solihull at the local hospital – less than a mile from the factory where,
at the exact same time, the idea for the first Land Rover was being conceived.
Appropriately, ‘Born in Lode Lane’ became the title of his memoir, published in
serving 15 years in engineering, and being closely involved in the development
of the first Range Rover, Roger’s reputation as an off-road expert came to the
fore in 1978 when he became head of the company’s vehicle demonstration team.
The team went on to become Land Rover Experience which itself celebrates its
25th anniversary this year. The brief was simple – to showcase the outstanding
off-road capabilities of Land Rover vehicles to people of influence.
after he began working with media on press events, Roger took a role within the
global PR team. His ability to cut to the heart of a new vehicle’s technology
and communicate it in simple terms was invaluable as the brand expanded into
new markets worldwide. Most recently, Roger has been Land Rover’s Heritage,
Enthusiast and Technical PR Manager.
of his long career, Roger noted: “I have worked on some great projects in
product development, marketing and PR. I have visited some fascinating places
with some great people and many have become good friends.”
added, “I thank everyone for their great support, friendship and camaraderie,
and I will be taking away some wonderful memories. In my new life, I will be
taking the ignition key of my old Land Rover off the hook and re-educating
myself with choke pulls and double de-clutching.”
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