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Jaguar Land Rover Poaches Alpine Boss To Run Special Operations

Alpine boss Michael van der Sande will be overseeing the expansion of Jaguar’s high performance SVR lineup.

Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Operations, the division behind Jaguar’s high-performance SVR lineup and limited continuation cars sold by the Classic brand such as the E-type Lightweight and Defender Works, launched four years ago, and was led by longtime executive John Edwards. Now Edwards is leaving, the automaker has announced it has appointed Alpine's current managing director Michael van der Sande to lead the Special Operations division.

The Dutch executive will arrive with an impressive resume, having worked in senior roles at Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Tesla, and Harley-Davidson. From June, the Alpine boss will be the head of Jaguar’s Special Vehicle, Bespoke, and Classic operations, which all encompass the Special Operations Division meaning he will oversee the expansion of the SVR lineup. We already know a Range Rover Velar SVR is in the works, and JLR also recently hinted at the possibility of a high performance I-Pace SVR. More recently, Special Operations launched the Jaguar XE SV Project 8 and F-Type Project 7, the Range Rover SV Coupe, and the reborn Lightweight E-Type, XKSS, and D-Type.

Edwards hasn’t announced what the next chapter in his career will be, but he leaves behind 27 years of service at Jaguar Land Rover. “These crucial new appointments put Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations in excellent shape for the future,” said Edwards. “Our Special Vehicle Operations, Bespoke and Classic businesses are strategically important for the entire business and I am confident the new recruits will bring fresh thinking and new direction, building on what we have achieved and taking us onwards and upwards.” “In just four years Special Operations has established itself as a force in the automotive world with outstanding cars,” said van der Sande.

“These are exceptional achievements and I relish the opportunity to lead the team behind these achievements to even greater success.” Jaguar Land Rover says that further appointments to the Special Operations division will be announced shortly.

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