First Land Rover Series I was officially launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show in 1948 using the Jeep chassis and components. The Series I was based around the military, using surplus supplies of aircraft cockpit paint which meant that the early vehicles only came in different shades of green colour. It is today regarded as a British icon. It was granted a Royal Warrant by King George VI in 1951, and 50 years later, in 2001, it received a Queen’s Award of Enterprise for outstanding contribution to international trade.
Land Rover vehicles have always been regarded as all terrain iconic vehicles serving in different conflicts throughout 20th century and also being the primary military transportation utility vehicle for British and Australian Army and the Commonwealth countries.
Land Rover as a company has existed since 1978. Prior to this, it was a product line of the Rover Company which was subsequently absorbed into the Rover-Triumph division of the British Leyland Motor Company Limited (BL) following Leyland Motor Corporation’s takeover of Rover in 1967. The ongoing commercial success of the original Land Rover series models, and latterly the Range Rover in the 1970s in the midst of BL’s well-documented business troubles prompted the establishment of a separate Land Rover company but still under the BL umbrella, remaining part of the subsequent Rover Group in 1988, under the ownership of British Aerospace after the remains of British Leyland were broken up and privatised.
In 1994 Rover Group plc, including Land Rover, was acquired by BMW. In 2000, Rover Group was broken up by BMW and Land Rover was sold to Ford Motor Company.
On 18 January 2008, Tata Motors, established Jaguar Land Rover Limited as a British-registered and wholly owned subsidiary. The new company was to be used as a holding company for the acquisition of the two businesses from Ford — Jaguar Cars Limited and Land Rover. That acquisition was completed on 2 June 2008 at a cost of £1.7 billion.
On 1 January 2013, the group, which had been operating as two separate companies (Jaguar Cars Limited and Land Rover), although on an integrated basis, underwent a fundamental restructuring. The consequence was that Jaguar Land Rover Limited became responsible in the UK for the design, manufacture and marketing of both Jaguar and Land Rover branded products, and Land Rover and Jaguar Cars ceased to be separate vehicle producing entities.
The golden era of Land Rover as part of JLR has started under Tata Motors and today represents a huge success story where two iconic British brands share between them design, production and vision of innovation, luxury and customer satisfaction.
Jaguar Land Rover manufactures Land Rover cars in plants in five countries. In the United Kingdom the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Velar are built at their Solihull plant near Birmingham and the Discovery Sport and Evoque are built at their Halewood plant near Liverpool. In October 2018 JLR opened a new plant in Nitra, Slovakia to build the Discovery and are now also building the 2020 New Defender here. In Brazil the company builds both the Discovery Sport and Evoque in their plant in Itatiaia which was opened in June 2016. JLR has been building cars since 2011 in Pune, India and currently builds the Discovery Sport and Evoque there. Under a 50/50 joint venture with Chery at Changshu in China Discovery Sports and Evoques are also built.
Defender models were assembled under licence in several locations worldwide, including Spain (Santana Motors), Iran (Pazhan Morattab), Brazil (Karmann), and Turkey (Otokar).
Land Rover’s range of vehicles offers a huge selection of specifications for urban and off-road motoring. Innovation and luxury are coupled with historical pedigree of adventure trials, safari exploration and real off-roading.