15 July 2011
BMW AG Board Member and Chairman of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Ian Robertson, has been
awarded an honorary doctorate by Aston University for his outstanding service and achievements in the fields of business and engineering.
Ian Robertson (52), responsible for global Sales and Marketing, was presented with an honorary degree from the University in a ceremony at Birmingham Town Hall, last week (15 July 2011).
Ian has been described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘the most powerful Briton in the global car industry’. He has strong personal links with the West Midlands and Birmingham, having held senior positions at both Rover and Land Rover. He has established strong links with Aston University, most recently by giving a keynote speech at the Green Growth conference hosted by the Aston Centre for Europe. Since March 2008, Ian has led the BMW Group’s Global Sales and Marketing.
The BMW Group is heading towards a record year of sales with best ever results in June and for the first six months of 2011. The company sold a total of 833.366 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles in the first half of the year, which represents a growth of nearly 20 percent over the previous year. Therefore the BMW Group remains the clear leader in the worldwide automobile premium segment in 2011.
Originally from Oswestry, Shropshire, Ian earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology (UWIST), in Cardiff, before starting his career in the automotive industry as a Graduate Trainee within the Rover Group. Working in several positions, including Purchasing Director, Ian then made the move to Land Rover Vehicles where he was appointed Managing Director. Following success in this role Ian was promoted in 1999 and assumed the position of Managing Director at BMW South Africa. In 2005 he took on the role of Chief Executive and Chairman for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd before his current position of BMW AG Board Member.
Ian Robertson commented: “Receiving an honorary doctorate from Aston University in a city which means so much to me, for achievements in an industry which is important to so many people in the region is a great honour. I hope it brings focus to the increasing importance of internationality in business and acknowledges the key role that engineering and the automotive sector have played, and will continue to play, in the life of the West Midlands.”
Professor Simon Green, Co-Director of the Aston Centre for Europe, said: “Ian represents an ideal Aston Honorary Graduate, with outstanding work in engineering and business, two subjects at the core of University. He has strong ties with the West Midlands and has engaged with Aston University in a number of key projects. Ian’s particular focus on international business with Germany in particular, embodies the work of the Aston Centre for Europe with our engagement in a programme of rigorous, policy relevant research on Western and Eastern Europe.”
For further information contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549