Rolls-Royce has released a short statement confirming that Giles Taylor has quit his post as head of design "with immediate effect".

The statement from the Goodwood-based brand said Taylor had “decided to leave Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and the BMW Group to pursue alternative business interests”, adding that the naming of a successor would be made “in due course”.

Taylor took over from Ian Cameron as design director back in 2012, heading up the design of models such as the Dawn, the new Phantom and, most recently, the Cullinan (the latter has been confirmed for a South African introduction). He was also responsible for the one-off Sweptail, which has been billed as the most expensive new vehicle ever.

He started his career at the PSA Group before heading to Jaguar, where he stayed for 14 years before joining Rolls-Royce.