Bill Baker- The Man Behind Land Rover’s US Success
Bill Baker- The Man Behind Land Rover’s US Success. Recently Bill Baker, a legendary PR man who played a major roll in Land Rover’s successful return to the U.S. in 1986, died at his home in California. Baker first caught Ford’s attention in the early 1970’s with his road test segments that aired in Cleveland, Ohio where Bill was a broadcast newsman. This segment landed him a job with Ford’s broadcast media relations team. Two years later, Baker moved to Volvo and then held management positions at Fiat-Lancia and Ferrari.
In 1983, after a stint with Sony Corp. of America, he opened his own shop and worked with Chrysler before becoming one of Land Rover of North America’s first American employees in 1986. During this time, the Range Rover was a newly introduced vehicle by unknown brand and Land Rover was trying to establish the new luxury SUV segment.
Jean Jennings, former editor of Automobile magazine, said: “Bill Baker single-handedly put Land Rover on the map at a time when there was virtually no product. His press trips spanned the globe, each a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Great Divide, Morocco, Scotland, Iceland, Belize and on and on.”
Stuart Schorr Vice President, Communications & Public Affairs, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC said about the loss, “All of us at Jaguar Land Rover and in the Land Rover community were saddened today with the loss of dear friend, automotive enthusiast and industry leader Bill Baker.Land Rover was born on a beach in 1948, but didn’t take root in the United States until 1986 when a small band of employees, including Bill Baker and many fine people still working with the brand today, committed to a new British “SUV” Invasion. Who knew 40 years later, SUVs would be all the rage, and Land Rover in the U.S. would set a new all-time record passing 70,000 sales in 2016. Everything we do today is informed by the vision and hard work of those Land Rover pioneers such as Bill Baker. And within the PR Community, we can only look at Bill’s work in defining the Land Rover brand on these shores and be inspired, and challenged, to reach higher and create new magical moments for today. Bill was a friend to many and his legacy lives on and off road. He will be missed, but in our fond memories.”