Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover to give 2009 MacLaren Lecture

David Smith, Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover

5th March 2009 – for immediate release

David Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Land Rover, will give this year’s Aston University MacLaren Memorial lecture on Wednesday, Wednesday 11th March 2009 at 7pm.

He became Chief Executive of Jaguar Land Rover in June 2008  on the sale to Tata, after twenty five years in the automotive  industry with Ford. He has also been a Board member of Advantage West  Midlands for the last five years.

In 2008, David dealt with complex  transition issues for the newly independent company, putting the long term strategy for the business in place and trying to manage through 
fallout from the worst global financial crisis for generations.

In his lecture, Investing in our future, David will outline how he sees the future and the opportunity to develop Jaguar Land Rover into one of tomorrow's industrial companies during a period of such uncertainty.

"This country gave birth to the world’s first industrial revolution. Given the right political support and the right decisions by our manufacturing industries, I believe that Britain can once again be a global industrial pioneer," he said. 

The free lecture will begin at 7.00pm prompt in The Great Hall, Main Building, Aston University, Birmingham and is open to all. Free car parking is available on campus. Networking with teas/coffees and cakes/pastries will be available in Aston Business School’s Conference Centre from 6.00pm.

To book a place please contact Claire Hopkins on 0121 204 4542 or email


Notes to editors:

• Members of the press are welcome to attend the lecture. Please contact the Press Office on 0121 204 4549 or 0121 204 4552 to confirm your attendance.

• Prior to David’s current role he was Chief Financial Officer of Jaguar Land Rover and also Acting Chief Executive Officer, Jaguar Land Rover, a role he took on in April 2008 following the death of Jaguar Land Rover CEO Geoff Polites. David was formerly Director of Finance and Strategy for Ford of Europe and PAG. He has been a Director of Jaguar and Land Rover since 2000, including as a prior Finance Director of both companies and a Director of Volvo and Aston Martin. He is also a Board Member and Chair of the Audit Committee at Advantage West Midlands, a Trustee of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, a regional CBI Councillor, Honorary Professor of Warwick Manufacturing Group and previous Governor of Coventry University. He has held numerous Finance and Strategy positions since joining Ford in 1983, including assignments in Switzerland, the US, Asia and Turkey, where he played a key role in developing Turkey's largest automotive inward investment project.  In his roles at Jaguar Land Rover since 2000, David has been at the centre of developing the successful transformation of both the Land Rover and Jaguar businesses. He played a key role in the sale of Aston Martin in 2007. Born in Solihull, West Midlands in 1961, David holds an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and an MBA from Warwick University. He lives in Leamington with his wife and three children.