John Paul Gregory, head of exterior design, Bentley Motors

Bentley's new head of car design is a Brit

John Paul Gregory, head of exterior design, Bentley MotorsBentley has appointed John Paul Gregory to lead its exterior design division, three months after previous incumbent SangYup Lee left for his native South Korea to become vice president of styling at Hyundai.

Gregory, a Brit, starts immediately in the vacant role as Bentley prepares to roll out its next new car following the launch of the bold Bentayga.

The first production car under Gregory’s watch is likely to be the new Bentley Continental GT, due in 2017 – and this is still set to be partly be ‘his’ car despite only now taking on the lead role: previously, Gregory was advanced exterior design leader.

He will have helped create the initial concepts for the new Continental GT; similarly, Gregory will have shaped the pretty Speed 6 concept, which many are willing to follow the new Continental (possibly as Bentley’s first EV sports car).

Prior to joining Bentley in 2008, Gregory spent four years as exterior designer at Volkswagen, following completion of a masters degree in automotive design.

He studied in the UK before then, gaining an honours degree in transportation design at the University of Northumbria.

Stefan Sielaff, Bentley director of design, said: “John Paul’s experience at Bentley is invaluable. He brings a passion for the brand and a deep understanding of the direction we wish to go in.

“This is an important time for the company as we look ahead to new models with John Paul, alongside our highly-skilled design team, bringing many insights and ideas to inspire the next great Bentley.”

For his part, Gregory said: “I look forward to helping shape the next chapter and maintaining Bentley’s iconic status as a creator of luxurious, desirable, high performance cars.”