Land Rover is a car manufacturer that makes four-wheel-drive cars and offers luxury SUVs. Since 2008, the car manufacturer is under the company Jaguar Land Rover which is owned by India’s Tata Motors. Throughout the years, Land Rover proved itself as its own brand, releasing a growing range of four-wheel drive and off-road capable car models while providing safety and luxury at the same time. That’s why in this article, we are going to know more about Land Rover and its history.
History of Land Rover
Initially, the cars were simply called Land Rover, and they were a series of off-road capable car models that were manufactured by the Rover Company. The series’ name later became a retronym model name, and Land Rover started to become a brand, especially with the release of the Range Rover in 1970. Eventually, Land Rovers were finally given their official names, the One Ten and the Ninety. Together, they were dubbed as the Defender models in 1990.
The design of the Land Rover vehicles was created by Maurice Wilks in 1947. He was the chief designer at the Rover Company, and he worked on the model at his farm together with his brother, Spencer, who was the managing director of the Rover Company. The design of the Land Rover might be influenced by the Jeep, and its prototype was called Center Steer, which was built on a Jeep chassis and axle. The first choice of color for the Land Rover cars was directed by military surplus supplies of airplane cockpit paint. That’s why their colors only came in different shades of light green.
As we mentioned, Land Rover has existed as a company since 1978. Still, before this, it was a product line that was created by the Rover company. It was later absorbed into the Rover-Triumph division of the British Leyland Motor Corporation. When the Land Rover models experienced commercial success prompted Leyland Motors to create a separate Land Rover company which is still under their umbrella.
When Rover Group plc was acquired by BMW in 1994, it included rights to the Land Rover. However, in 2000, BMW decided to break up the Rover Group, and they sold Land Rover to Ford Motor Company in 2006. However, in June 2007, Ford Motor Company announced that it had plans to sell Land Rover along with Jaguar Cars. Several companies such as Ripplewood Holdings, TPG Capital, Cerberus Capital Management, Tata Motors, and One Equity Partners all expressed interest purchasing marques from Ford Motor Company. After a year, Ford announced that Tata Motors was their preferred bidder, and they agreed to sell Land Rover and Jaguar operations to Tata Motors. The sale was completed at the end of the second quarter of 2008.
Jaguar Cars Limited and Land Rover have been operating as two separate companies under Tata Motors. And In January 2013, even if they are on an integrated basis, both companies underwent restructuring. This resulted to the parent company being renamed to Jaguar Land Rover Automotive, PLC, and Jaguar Cars Limited was renamed Jaguar Land Rover Limited. The assets of Land Rover were transferred to it. This restructuring resulted in Jaguar Land Rover Limited to become responsible in the UK for the manufacturing, design, and marketing of both Land Rover and Jaguar branded products. On the other hand, Land Rover and Jaguar Cars stopped to be separate car-producing entities.
Interesting Facts About Land Rover
- The first Land Rover has its steering wheel in the middle – The Land Rover was designed after WWII-era Jeeps. The designer opts to keep things simple and more tractor-like. That’s why he decided to put the steering wheel in the middle. It resulted in dodging the pesky nuisance of building two different versions of the car for right and left-hand drive markets.
- Land Rover sponsored the ultimate college joyride – Land Rover used to give trucks to students of Cambridge and Oxford for them to be able to drive across continents and to places such as the Sahara and Singapore. Land Rover said this was all because of the sake of learning.
- Land Rover invented the Monster Truck way before anyone else – When the British Forestry Commission demanded that someone should create a road-going vehicle that can be driven even in the deepest mud puddles in the 1950s, Land Rover happily obliged. They used four tractor tires and some beefy axles from a Studebaker to create the Series IIA. Hence, giving birth to the world’s first-ever monster truck.
- Land Rover made floating SUVs, too – Their ultimate SUV checklist would not be complete without amphibious SUVs, right?
- A Range Rover is displayed in the Louvre – Yes, the actual Louvre, along with Mona Lisa and every priceless art in the world.