Land Rover is a well known British car manufacturer with its headquarters in Gaydon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom which specializes in four-wheel-drive vehicles. The first Land Rover made its debut in 1948. It was designed with brilliant simplicity for unusual ability and unrivalled strength and toughness. In fact, six decades on it is estimated that two-thirds of all these incredible vehicles are still at work – many of them in some of the most extreme conditions and unfriendly places on earth.
The Land Rover was the product of constant evolution and enhancement throughout the 1950s and 1960s with improved stability and a tighter turning circle. It was a period in which Land Rover took the lead in the rising market for four-wheel drive vehicles. As a tough, reliable mobility platform, countless organisations came to depend on Land Rover vehicles to get personnel and equipment into the most challenging situations.
The Land Rover name was originally used by the Rover Company for one specific vehicle model, named simply the Land Rover, launched by Rover in 1948. Over the following years it developed into a marquee encompassing a range of four-wheel-drive models, including the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rovers are currently assembled in the company’s Halewood and Solihull plants, with research and development taking place at JLR’s Gaydon and Whitley engineering centers. Land Rover sold 194,000 vehicles worldwide in 2009.
In 1994 Rover Group plc was acquired by BMW. In 2000 Rover Group was broken-up by BMW and Land Rover was sold to Ford Motor Company, becoming part of its Premier Automotive Group. In June 2008 Ford sold both Land Rover and Jaguar Cars to Tata Motors.
Different Land Rover models have been used by military, most used by the British Army. Dedicated military models have been produced such as the 101 Forward Control and the air-portable 1/2 ton Lightweight. Military uses include light utility vehicle; communications platform; weapon platform for recoilless rifles, Anti-Tank (e.g. TOW) / Surface-to-Air Guided Weapons or machine guns; ambulances and workshops. The Discovery has also been used in small numbers, mostly as liaison vehicles.
In keeping with the revolutionary philosophy that founded Land Rover, a radical, entirely new product was introduced in 1970 and created its very own vehicle category. This overnight sensation was the original Range Rover. It had all the capability of a Land Rover with the comfort and performance of an on-road car.
This culture of innovation has developed ever since with both Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles: new models, more refinement, more innovative technology, more efficiency and fewer emissions. And it continues with initiatives such as e_Terrain Technologies, Sustainable Manufacturing and CO2 Offsetting. Land Rover will remain at the forefront of advanced design – the new small Range Rover is a testament to the vision that takes the company forward and keeps it at the cutting edge of technology and engineering.