Robertson started his career in the motor industry as a graduate trainee with the Rover Group in 1979, rising to managing director of Land Rover by 1994.
In 1999 he moved to BMW South Africa and presided over a quadrupling of the business through an export drive. In October he was named South African automobile “Industry Man of the Year 2004”.
The last incumbent, Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, left in October to head Alfa Romeo. Tony Gott, the first chairman under BMW, left under similarly sudden circumstances last May.
Rolls- Royce is struggling to meet sales targets for its sole Phantom model and announced a convertible variant in November.