Land Rover US VP discovers that you can go home again

LANHAM, MD: Bill Baker has returned to the US as vice president, corporate communications for Land Rover North America as the auto firm, bought by Ford last July, prepares to raise its voice in the industry.

LANHAM, MD: Bill Baker has returned to the US as vice president, corporate communications for Land Rover North America as the auto firm, bought by Ford last July, prepares to raise its voice in the industry.

LANHAM, MD: Bill Baker has returned to the US as vice president, corporate communications for Land Rover North America as the auto firm, bought by Ford last July, prepares to raise its voice in the industry.

He reports to president and CEO Howard Mosher and serves on the company's executive committee.

The VP slot is a reinstatement of the position Baker held from 1987 to 1997. The PR veteran has spent the last four years roaming the earth with various Land Rover off-road test and PR stunt expeditions.

Baker told PRWeek he's considering either expanding his present small staff of three with up to four new hires or, alternatively, seeking agency help. Land Rover's previous head of corporate communications, department general manager Mark Schirmer, will continue in his role.

Since 1997, he's been operating from the UK where he was director of Land Rover Communications Programs, introducing new models and coordinating the company's 50th Anniversary activities. Last year, he directed Land Rover's roll-out in Europe and North America for a new, lower-priced Freelander V-6 model.

Land Rover's upscale market position tops the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment of the North American vehicle market. US sales last year were 27,000, modest when compared to, say, market-leader Ford Explorer's 445,000. But Ford plans to grow the Land Rover brand, capitalizing on its rugged worldwide reputation.

Land Rover North America (and Baker) will be moving from Maryland to Irvine, CA later this year, to merge US headquarters with other members of Ford's Premium Auto Group, Jaguar, Volvo, Aston Martin and Lincoln Mercury.

Baker worked in PR for Ford after starting out as a broadcast journalist.

He has since held a variety of PR roles within the auto industry including Volvo PR, Fiat-Lancia-Ferrari North America and Range Rover.





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