Land Rover Heritage

Over 60 Years On and Still Going Strong

The first Land Rover made its debut in 1948. It was designed with brilliant simplicity for extraordinary ability and unrivaled strength and durability. 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 inhospitable places on earth.

The Land Rover Story

The original 1948 Land Rover was ingeniously designed and engineered for extreme capability and strength. With extremely robust construction and characteristics such as short front and rear overhangs, it drove off the production line ready to take on some of the world's toughest terrain. Today these qualities are as significant a part of what makes a Land Rover vehicle unique as they were 60 years ago.

The Land Rover was the product of continuous evolution and refinement 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 emerging market for four-wheel drive vehicles.  As a tough, reliable mobility platform, countless organizations came to depend on Land Rover vehicles to get personnel and equipment into the most challenging situations?and then safely out again.  From organizations such as Born Free Foundation to The Royal Geographical Society and Biosphere Expeditions - we enter the second decade of the 21st century with them still relying on Land Rover.

Land Rover heritage driving outdoors

Land Rover heritage rear lights and badge

In keeping with the forward-thinking 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 (which improves the environmental performance of vehicles by reducing CO2 emissions), 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.

The Business Side

During the last 65 years, the British marque has changed hands many times. Founded by Maurice Wilks, Rover's technical chief and his brother Spencer, the firm was part of the Rover Group for over fifty years. In that time, Rover and Leyland merged (1967), British Aerospace bought the Rover Group (1988) and then sold it to BMW in 1994. BMW split the Rover Group when it moved on in 2000, selling Rover to the Phoenix management group and Land Rover to Ford.

Land Rover's most recent ownership change was in 2008, when it was sold to Tata and is now part of Jaguar Land Rover.

Today, Land Rover has never been in a stronger position. Tata's ownership has seen the new Range Rover - a model that defines luxury and the badge continues to develop new products that appeal to a sophisticated global audience.  

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