Category: Automotive History
Facts about Land Rover Automobiles. The Land Rover Automobile traces its history back to a car designed by Maurice Wilks to drive over rough terrain, tested out on a Welsh beach in 1947. The Land Rover vehicle was first offered in 1948 by the Rover Company. A separate line of vehicles like the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and others were released. The Range Rover, a full sized SUV, is still sold today. The Land Rover Defender is a classic off-road vehicle, resembling the first Land Rovers that became a stable of the rugged modern explorer.
The Land Rover was part of the 1955 First Overland Expedition that ran from London to Singapore, essentially a journey across the longest distance at the same latitude possible on the planet. It is a race across Europe and Asia, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Six undergraduate students took the journey simply to be the first to do this. The 1955 First Overland Expedition by Adrian Cowell, Tim Slessor, Antony Barrington Brown, Henry Nott, Pat Murphy and Nigel Newbery.
Henry Nott was the secretary of the University Motor Club. Antony Barrington Brown was a cameraman. Nigel Newbery was a mechanic.
The journey was funded in part by sponsorships. Land Rover supported the expedition some said was impossible for the publicity it would generate for the company.
That expedition cemented Land Rover’s capability in the public’s mind.
Recent History of Land Rover Automobile
The Rover Company was absorbed into the British Leyland Motor Corporation or BL in 1967. Rover was spun out by British Leyland in 1984. In 2006, Ford Motor Company bought the rights to the Rover line from BMW in 2000.
Ford Motor Company purchased Jaguar Cars in 1989. Ford then bought Land Rover from BMW in the year 2000. Land Rover and Jaguar were joined into a single company in 2002.
Land Rover is held by a parent company, Jaguar Land Rover. Jaguar Land Rover was bought by Tata Motors in 2008. This deal included both the Land Rover four wheel drive vehicles and Jaguar Cars, as well as the dormant Daimler brand. The entire deal cost £1.7 billion.
Land Rover Facilities
Land Rover vehicles are manufactured in Halewood and Solihull in the UK. Research and development take place in Gaydon Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire, England. It sits by an Aston Martin facility that was once part of a Royal Air Force base. Jaguar Land Rover also runs a research and development center in Whitley, Coventry, England. The Whitley site is also the headquarters for Jaguar Cars. The Whitley site was once an airfield, turned into an aircraft company after World War One before being turned into a civilian design facility after World War Two.
Land Rover is working on a research and development center at the University of Warwick, Coventry. Chinese car manufacturer Chery has invested around three billion U.S. dollars in a venture to build Land Rovers and engines and work on R&D.
Jaguar cars are manufactured at an assembly plant in Birmingham, England. Another manufacturing facility is based in Pune, India. That site makes Land Rover Freelanders, the Jaguar XF and the Jaguar XJ. The Chery Jaguar Land Rover manufacturing plant in Changsu, China only builds the Range Rover Evoque.
Jaguar Land Rover is building a manufacturing facility in Itatiaia, Brazil that will begin production in 2016.
Sales of Land Rover Automobiles
In 2012-2013, Jaguar Land Rover sold 316,043 Land Rovers and 58,593 Jaguars. By the end of 2013, Jaguar Land Rover sold a record 425,006 vehicles. Land Rover and Jaguar sales were driven by growing demand in Asia and slow growth in Europe and North America. While Land Rovers were 80% of their sales, the Jaguar brand saw 20% to 40% growth in sales world wide.
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