Whitley, UK, 27 March 2014 – Roger Crathorne, one of the best known and most highly respected Land Rover employees for more than five decades, is retiring from the company.
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’.
As 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.
Dr. 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.”
Roger 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 2008.
After 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.
Soon 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.
Speaking of his long career, Roger said: “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.”
He 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.”