History of Land Rover

Land Rover imageThe first Land Rover was designed in 1948 in the United Kingdom (on the island of Anglesey in Wales) by Maurice Wilks, chief designer at the British car company Rover on his farm in Newborough, Anglesey. It is said that he was inspired by an American World War II Jeep that he used one summer at his holiday home in Wales.[citation needed] The first Land Rover prototype 'centre steer' was built on a Jeep chassis. A distinctive feature is their bodies, constructed of a lightweight rustproof proprietary alloy of aluminium and magnesium called Birmabright. This material was used owing to post war steel shortages and a plentiful supply of post-war aircraft aluminium. chassis.

This metal's resistance to corrosion was one of the factors that allowed the vehicle to build up a reputation for longevity in the toughest conditions. It is reckoned that 75% of all those ever built are still in use.[citation needed] In fact, Land Rover drivers sometimes refer to other makes of 4x4 as "disposables". The early choice of colour was dictated by military surplus supplies of aircraft cockpit paint, so early vehicles only came in various shades of light green; all models until recently feature sturdy box section ladder-frame.

The early vehicles, such as the Series I, were field-tested at Long Bennington and designed to be field-serviced; advertisements for Rovers cite vehicles driven thousands of miles on banana oil. Now with more complex service requirements this is less of an option. The British Army maintains the use of the mechanically simple 2.5 litre 4 cylinder 300TDi engined versions rather than the electronically controlled 2.5 litre 5 cylinder TD5 to retain some servicing simplicity. This engine also continued in use in some export markets using units built at a Ford plant in Brazil, where Land Rovers were built under license and the engine was also used in Ford pick-up trucks built locally. Production of the TDi engine ended here in 2006, meaning that Land Rover no longer offers it as an option. International Motors of Brazil offer an engine called the 2.8 TGV Power Torque, which is essentially a 2.8-litre version of the 300TDi, with a corresponding increase in power and torque. All power is combined with an All-Terrain Traction Control which gives active terrain response; Ferrari uses a similar system in race traction.

Since its purchase by Ford, Land Rover has been closely associated with Jaguar. In many countries they share a common sales and distribution network (including shared dealerships), and some models now share components and production facilities.

Timeline.

1948: Land Rover is designed by the Wilks Brothers and is manufactured by the Rover Car Company .

1958: Series II launched .

1961: Series IIA began production .

1967: Rover becomes part of Leyland Motors Ltd, later British Leyland (BL) as Rover Triumph. .

1970: Introduction of the Range Rover .

1971: Series III launched. .

1975: BL collapses and is nationalised, publication of the Ryder Report recommends that Land Rover be split from Rover and be treated as a separate company within BL and becomes part of the new commercial vehicle division called the Land Rover Leyland Group .

1976: One millionth Land Rover leaves the production line. .

1978: Land Rover Limited formed as a separate subsidiary of British Leyland .

1980: Rover car production ends at Solihull with the transfer of SD1 production to Cowley, Oxford; Solihull is now exclusively for Land Rover manufacture. 5-door Range Rover introduced. .

1983: Land Rover 90 (Ninety)/110 (One-Ten)/127 (Land Rover Defender) introduced. .

1986: BL plc becomes Rover Group plc; Project Llama started. .

1988: Rover Group is privatised and becomes part of British Aerospace, and is now known simply as Rover. .

1987: Range Rover is introduced to the U.S market March 16. .

1989: Introduction of the Discovery ("Disco I" to enthusiasts) .

1994: Rover Group is taken over by BMW. Introduction of second-generation Range Rover. (The original Range Rover was continued under the name 'Range Rover Classic' until 1995) .

1997: Land Rover introduces the Special Edition Discovery XD with AA Yellow paint, subdued wheels, SD type roof racks, and a few other off-road upgrades directly from the factory. Produced only for the North American market, the Special Vehicles Division of Land Rover created only 250 of these bright yellow SUV's. Official formation of the Camel Trophy Owners Club by co-founders Neill Browne, Pantelis Giamarellos and Peter Sweetser. .

1998: Introduction of the Freelander .

1999: Introduction of the second generation of Discovery (Disco II) .

2000: BMW breaks up the Rover Group and sells Land Rover to Ford for 1.8 billion .

2002: Introduction of third-generation Range Rover .

2005: Land Rover 'founder' Rover, collapses under the ownership of MG Rover Group. .

2005: Introduction of the third-generation Discovery/LR3 .

2005: Introduction of Range Rover Sport .

2005: Adoption of the Jaguar AJ-V8 engine to replace the BMW M62 V8 in the Range Rover .

2006: Announcement of a new 2.4 litre diesel engine, 6 speed gearbox, dash and forward facing rear seats for Defender. Introduction of second generation of Freelander (Freelander 2). Ford acquires the Rover trademark from BMW, who previously licensed its use to MG Rover Group. .

8 May 2007: 4,000,000th Land Rover rolls off the production line, a Discovery 3 (LR3), donated to The Born Free Foundation. .

12 June 2007: Announcement from the Ford Motor Company that it plans to sell Land Rover and also Jaguar Cars. This effectively dissolves the Premier Automotive Group (PAG) which previously included Aston Martin, until it was sold into private ownership by Ford in March 2007; at this time Ford has made no announcement regarding Volvo Cars. .

August 2007: India's Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra as well as financial sponsors Cerberus Capital Management, TPG Capital and Apollo Management expressed their interest in purchasing Jaguar Cars and Land Rover from the Ford Motor Company..

26 March 2008: Ford agreed to sell their Jaguar Land Rover operations to Tata Motors..

2 June 2008:Tata Motors finalised their purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford.

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