Land Rover is a British brand made by the most influential car manufacturer in Britain Jaguar-Land Rover, which is owned by Indian Tata Motors and has its headquarters in Whiteley, Coventry. Integral part of the Jaguar-Land Rover company was the Rover Company. One of the most famous Rover vehicles, after which the whole range got its name was Land Rover. In first years of its production this was only one model made for the first time in 1948. Later from this model the whole Land Rover range was developed. Later the company introduced Range Rover models as well, which were more luxurious and performance oriented four wheel drive SUVs.
First Land Rover model had a conservative military look, inspired by World War 2 Jeeps, driven by Maurice Wilks, chief designer of the Rover Company during the second half of the forties. First models were painted in military surplus colors, from olive green to dark grey. This model was the first success of the Rover Company in SUV class and it was presented on 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show. Few series of LR vehicle came out before it became part of Leyland Motors Ltd, and later British Leyland.
First Range Rover vehicle was launched in 1970. This vehicle was meant to combine toughness and four wheel drive of regular LR SUVs with comfort and luxurious features that are offered with Rover saloon vehicles. This concept became really popular, and RR became one of the most famous luxury SUVs worldwide.
British Leyland company that became the owner of LR and RR ranges was struggling with numerous financial problems, until it went to bankruptcy and was nationalized in 1975. Only one year later one millionth LR SUV was assembled, which made Land Rover the most prosperous division of this bankrupted automotive giant. That’s about the time when this division became subsidiary for British Leyland. This brought some further innovations of the range, with the first Defender model launched in 1983. In 1989 another new vehicle came, it was now famous Discovery model. Three years before that the company decided to give it a try on the American market where they sent their biggest, most luxurious and expensive piece, Range Rover.
In 1994 Rover Group was bought by BMW. During these years three new models were created, one is the Limited edition of Discovery, second is the Freelander model and finally the Second generation Discovery. BMW ownership lasted until 2000, when Rover group was broken and the Land Rover part was sold to ford for 1,8 million dollars.
While being owned by Ford, the company released Third generation Discovery and RR that came with a new engine, Jaguar’s AJ-V8, which replaced earlier BMW engine. In 2005 RR Sport model was launched. After original Rover Group collapsed, Ford acquired the license to use Rover name from BMW, which was before that granted only to the owner of bankrupted group. Although it was very prosperous Ford ownership of the company didn’t lasted long. Both Land Rover and Jaguar operations were sold to Indian company called Tata Motors in 2008.
Tata Motors ownership is still on and these ranges are more popular then ever. Some new models came out in the last few years including RR Evoque, Discovery Sport model that brought Discovery brand much closer to the Evoque and Sport luxurious brands.
This company is becoming more and more popular by the day. Discovery and Freelander models are doing really good on the American market and the brand spread its influence over to some other industries that don’t have almost anything to do with an automotive world. They gave license for their name use to bicycle, coffee and pushing chairs production.
Here you can find reviews of Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles: