Land Rover is a British multinational automaker that specializes in the production of four-wheel-drive automobiles. They were owned by Tata Motors, based out of India, since 2008, but since 2013 the operations of companies Jaguar Cars Limited plus Land Rover merged into Jaguar Land Rover Limited. At that time, the parent company was renamed Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.
Land Rover has become a British icon. The first time that the name Land Rover was used was by the Rover Company. They first launched the Land Rover Series in 1948. Their four-wheel-drive models include the Discovery, Defender, Range Rover, Freelander, Range Rover Evoque, and Range Rover Sport.
Now, most Land Rovers are produced in England, China, India, and a few other markets.
The History of Land Rover
Land Rover Origin
The original Land Rover vehicle began in 1947. Maurice Wilks created the Land Rover Series from his farm located in Newborough, Anglesey. He was the chief designer by the Rover Company and worked together with Spencer, his brother.
Their first prototype was the Centre Steer because the steering wheel was found in the center of the console. They built the first vehicles on Jeep axles and chassis. All vehicles also came in a light green shade because of the military surplus.
Originally, Land Rovers were only designed to be produced for a maximum of three years. The project was meant to gain some cash flow for the Rover Company to start a market car assembly. Once the Land Rover series began, they became outsold and successful.
The Rover Company eventually became the Rover-Triumph leg of the British Leyland Motor Corporation in 1967. By 1976, they had produced their one-millionth vehicle.
The success of the Range Rover models during the 1970s caused the company to separate Land Rover as its own entity in 1978. It wasn’t until 1987 that the Range Rover was introduced to the United States, even though there had been many demands made previously.
BMW purchased the Rover Group in 1994.
Ford bought the company from BMW in 2006 for a little under $8 million. By 2007, they planned to sell their Jaguar car line and Land Rover brand. Numerous companies expressed an interest including Alchemy Partners of the UK, Ripplewood Holdings, TPG Capital, and Tata Motors.
By 2007, they produced their four-millionth vehicle, the Discovery 3. It was later donated to The Born Free Foundation. In 2008, Ford awarded the bid to Tata Motors, based out of India. They sold both the Land Rover and Jaguar operations to them.
The purchase cost the company about $2.2 billion. As part of the deal, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Cars Limited, Land Rover Limited and also the rights to three other brands from Britain: Rover, Daimler marque, and Lanchester.
By 2013, Land Rover and Jaguar Cars had previously been operating as separate companies. The restructured and became the Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC. Now, Jaguar Land Rover Limited is responsible for all the marketing, manufacturing, and design of both Land Rover and Jaguar automobiles.
Alternative Propulsion Methods
In 2008, Land Rover unveiled their ERAD diesel-electric technology inside two Freelander 2 concept vehicles. The ERAD (Integrated Electric Rear Axle Drive) technology, was also referred to as e-terrain. It allowed the vehicle to move without the engine starting. It also supplied additional power to tackle tough terrain.
This multimillion-dollar project was sponsored by the Energy Saving Trust, which is part of the UK government.
Then, in 2008, Land Rover showcased their hybrid concept, the LRX. The ERAD system allowed the car to drive on its electric power, but only at speeds of less than 20 mph. This design later became the Evoque but didn’t have the ERAD features.
In 2013, they unveiled the All-Terrain Electric Defender. It produced zero emission and lasted for a maximum of eight hours prior to needing a recharge.
By 2017, the company stated that all Land Rover and Jaguar models by 2020 would either be a hybrid or all-electric. To make good on that promise, they released their first plug-in hybrid, the Range Rover Sport P400e during the 2018 lineup.
Land Rover Safety and Crash Ratings
The latest safety information the IIHS has for the Land Rover brand was from 2009, and none of it was good. Even the NHTSA has no information on the safety or crash ratings of the Land Rover line of vehicles.
With that said, if you look at the European market, they’ve been able to publish reports that might be useful. For example, Euro NCAP has given the Land Rover Discovery a 5-star safety rating and listed in the best large off-road vehicle after the Volvo XC60.
Euro NCAP, otherwise known as the European New Car Assessment Program, is in charge of testing new vehicles. They measure them against their standard rating system to give families the chance to find a vehicle which fits their needs.
Land Rover Safety Equipment
Land Rover has outfitted their vehicles with numerous safety features throughout the years. They are known for their five ISOFIX mounting points. These allow drivers to properly fit a child seat, thereby keeping kids safer in the event of a collision.
They also have the Driver Condition Monitor. This watches the brake inputs, acceleration, and steering of a driver to sense fatigue. If needed, the system alerts the driver to take a break.
The Traffic Sign Recognition detects the speed limit, road work, and other key signs along the road to alert the driver through their display. Most vehicles also come with Adaptive LED headlights which feature five different modes.
There’s also a 360-degree Surround Camera System in most vehicles that allows the driver an unparalleled view of everything around them. This is helpful when switching lanes or during lower-speed maneuvers.
The Park Assist system utilizes the same camera system plus sensors installed on the vehicle. It helps to steer into parking spaces when needed.
Autonomous technologies include Lane Keeping Assist and Intelligent Speed Limiter. The first one detects if the vehicle is drifting from its lane and then applies corrective counter steering to maintain position. The latter adjusts the speed of the Land Rover when it enters a new speed limit.
One of the most hailed technologies is the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). This system avoids collision by applying the emergency braking in the event of a crash. This system uses a stereo camera to calculate the distance of objects in front of the vehicle.
Land Rover Safety Recalls
Wards Auto listed Jaguar Land Rover right in the middle of the Recall Rates by Manufacturer. They had a recall rate of 1,067 vehicles out of every 1,000 according to their statistics. On the bright side, Forbes stated that Land Rover was ranked third in the most timely recalls. They followed behind Tesla and Porsche. They also estimated that over 76% of their recalls were initiated by the manufacturer.
One of their largest recalls occurred in 2015. More than 65,000 SUVs were recalled when the keyless entry software was allowing latched doors to open on their own. This event happened while the vehicles were in motion. There were no injuries or accidents as a result.
In 2017, they also faced three recalls at the same time, which still didn’t involve a lot of their vehicles. The largest of the three was for about 13,500 Range Rovers, Range Rover Sports, and Discovery Sport vehicles. They had non-functional seatbelt pretensioners. The second recall was because front-passenger airbags weren’t deploying properly which only affected about 550 SUVs. Then, the company also took part in the large Takata airbag recall as well.
In 2018, they recalled another 8,000 vehicles with defective fuel rail assemblies. This recall affected the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, and the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar. Vehicles featuring a 2-liter engine were found to have fuel rails with defective seals on the end caps. This caused fuel vapor and gasoline to leak into the engine bay from the fuel rails, increasing the chance of an engine fire.
Consumer Satisfaction Reports & Dependability Ratings
In the 2017 J.D. Power U.S. Customer Service Index, Land Rover scored dead last for luxury brands. It seems that customer satisfaction isn’t the only thing lacking with this line of luxury SUVs. During the 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, J.D. Power ranked Land Rover in the second to last place, right before Chrysler.
So are Land Rover’s reliable? It doesn’t appear that the newer models are. With that said, they have a strong reputation for being reliable vehicles in previous years. That leads us to believe that older models were, in fact, reliable at one time. But, that could be said about many automotive brands as the competition gets strong and companies look for ways to lessen the cost of production.
The company’s focus shifted at some point from being the strong, off-road vehicle it once was to create more comfort. They added additional technologies and gadgets for convenience. These things help the brand become less reliable in the long run.
Land Rover Awards
Land Rover is no stranger to award-winning designs. In fact, the Range Rover Evoque has won more than 160 international awards since its induction. Here are some more of the most prestigious awards that have been won:
- 2018 Range Rover Velar won World Car Design of the Year Award
- 2018 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury won FOUR WHEELER Magazine’s SUV of the Year
- 2017 Land Rover Model Lineup won the Best Brand Design Language award at the 2017 Car Design Awards
- 2017 Range Rover Evoque won the highest Total Quality score in the Near-Luxury Utility Segment, according to the 2017 Strategic Vision Total Quality Impact (TQI) report
- 2016 Range Rover was the Top-Ranked SUV in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. APEAL Study
- 2016 Range Rover was rated as one of the Top Full Size Luxury Crossover/SUV’s by Car and Driver 2016 Editor’s Choice Awards
Jaguar and Land Rover
Both companies had been under the British Leyland umbrella during some time in their history through 1984. They were then reunited by Ford through the purchase of both automakers. Ford bought Jaguar in 1989 and later Land Rover in 2006.
Just two years later, they sold both companies to Tata Motors. Up until 2013, the two groups operated on their own, separate from one another. That’s until their parent company received the new name, Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.
The company also owns the rights to the Lanchester, Rover, and Daimler marques.
There’ve been several models developed by Land Rover for the UK Ministry of Defense. Some of these include:
- Lane Rover One Tonne FC – 101 Forward Control
- Wolf – Military Defender
- Snatch – Featured a composited armored body and was used in the UK Armed Forces
- 130 Defender – an ambulance
They’ve also created the Perentie 6×6 and 4×4 for the Australian Army
Land Rover Experience
The Land Rover Experience started in 1990. It operates through centers around the world with the purpose of teaching owners how to get the most out of their 4x4s.
One of the available options is the Heritage Program. This allows drivers to go off-road and have their photographs taken. There are also one and two-hour driving experiences. These are designed to develop additional skills in the driver on inclines, descents, water crossings, and side slopes. During a half day or full day adventure, drivers ride on more challenging terrains. There is also the Group Academy, Specialist Training, and the Jaguar Land Rover Ice Academy program.
Centers are located in California, Vermont, North Carolina, and Quebec. In total, they currently operate 35 centers worldwide.
After the Experience, owners are asked to bring their own Land Rover vehicle to a scheduled Experience Center Owner’s Day. This is where they get to meet others that have participated in the program and learn from one another. There are typically about three of these dates set each year.
Land Rover Brand Extensions
Land Rover has dabbled in some other business ventures as well.
The company endorsed a hand-made bike which used its logo in 1995. The Land Rover APB was created by Pashley Cycles of the UK. It had adjustable damping and a leading link front suspension. There were two other models built after that. They were the Rover XCB V-20 for children and the XCB D-26.
Then, in 2004, they released a full range of 25 bicycles. They included the Freelander, Discovery, and Defender. The Freelander was created for the urban rider while the Discovery was an all-around model. The Defender was geared toward the rugged, off-road rider. All of the designs were constructed with lightweight aluminum.
They relaunched the bikes with the help of 2×2, a British manufacturer, in 2010.
Land Rover offered a license to Pegasus, a UK company, to manufacturer a three-wheeled stroller. The design followed suit with the company’s heritage and featured a lightweight metal frame plus canvas seating. They were able to fold flat and the wheels removed easily.
The adaptable frame allowed babies to lie down flat. There was also a bubble windscreen so the child could be completely enclosed during inclement weather. Strollers were available in short- or long-handled versions and were repairable with simple hand tools.
The strollers were available in three colors: sand, olive, and light blue. They were discontinued in 2002.
Snapshot of the Company
Jaguar Land Rover Automotive is a corporation in England. The parent company is TML Holdings, located in Singapore with the overseer as Tata Motors in India.
Most Land Rovers are manufactured in the Solihull plant. Production of the Land Rover Freelander occurs in Liverpool at a former Ford plant. Assembly of Defender models happens worldwide in locations such a Spain, Iran, Brazil, and Turkey.
Dr. Ralf Speth is the CEO of Jaguar Land Rover since 2010 and is a Non-Executive Director on the Tata Motors Board. Jaguar Land Rover opened a new North American headquarters in 2018. The facility is located in Mahwah, NJ and cost the company $30 million. The building features a showroom, product research area, training and development center, plus increased square footage over their last location in Irvine, CA. There are more than 400 employees that work in the New Jersey location.
So far, the most profitable year for Jaguar Land Rover has been 2017. They sold 604,009 vehicles during that year and over 431,000 of them were Land Rover models.
Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC has two principal active subsidiaries. They are Jaguar Land Rover Holdings Limited and Jaguar Land Rover Limited. The latter is in charge of designing, manufacturing, and selling Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.
The company has two research and development locations inside the United Kingdom. One is in Gaydon, Warwickshire, and the other is in Whitley, Coventry.
The Halewood Body and Assembly Plant in Merseyside is used to manufacture the Discovery Sport and Evoque. It used to be a Ford plant. In the West Midlands, the Solihull Plant is used to produce the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Velar, and Discovery. Then, in India, there are more Range Rover Evoque models produced. Most recently, a plant in China began production creating the Evoque and Discovery Sport.
The company also runs a software engineering facility in Ireland.
Land Rover Logo
Their iconic green logo started in 1989. Prior to that, it was just a black nameplate. When the oval shape was acquired, every inscription on the emblem other than the brand name was removed. The line that connected the Land Rover words transformed into small signs that might have reflected their motto ‘Above and Beyond.’ Over the years, there have only been a few changes made to the logo.
Some rumors exist that the logo came to be when the designer was eating his lunch from a pilchard tin. We may never know what inspired it, but we do know that over the decades, it’s become easily recognizable.
The current logo features a green oval and the company’s brand name. The oval design is framed with a white border. The color is a vivid green, but the inscription is done in white.
Some speculate that the green means vitality and spirit. That the Land Rover helps consumers wander far from the grey roads into more nature-filled spaces. The white letters might stand for dignity and purity.
Land Rover utilizes Psychographics, geographic, and demographic segmentation strategies to find customers. The target client is from an upper-class social group. They are executives and professionals from wealthier families. These people see the Land Rover as an affordable vehicle.
The British company works hard to maintain a strong position in the marketing sphere. They’ve adopted some new age technologies that please their customers and place them in a competitive market with other brands.
This line of SUVs is no stranger to the big screen either. Among the many accolades it boasts of, one is that 24 vehicles have made their way into a James Bond movie.
The brand also works diligently to create partnerships with publications that appeal to their customer base. Most recently they’ve worked with Cool Hunting, Robb Report, and The Wall Street Journal to introduce the Range Rover Velar. They’ve also been in a partnership with Conde Nast for publication. Several other magazines have also featured the Velar such as WIRED, Vogue, GQ, and Architectural Digest. All of these outlets appeal to the target audience through business, style, design, and technology.
Land Rover Motorsports
The Land Rover line of vehicles doesn’t have an extensive history in motorsports. With that said, Range Rovers did win the 1979 and 1981 Paris-Dakar Rally. The 1979 victory was the inaugural year. Each race lasted for about 6,000 miles. Throughout the 1980s, Range Rovers completed the East African Safari Rally as well.
Land Rover Museum
There are several ways to see a collection of Land Rover vehicles on display. The Dunsfold Collection is located in the UK and has offered a lineup of historic Land Rover vehicles since 1993. It began as a private collection back in 1968. Brian Bashall, the owner of the vehicles, passed them on to his son Philip. Today, the son shares the group with others. His father’s first vehicle for the collection was the 1962 ex-military 109-inch APGP wader.
The company also offers several factory tours which allow you to view the creation of the vehicles. The Solihull Manufacturing Tour gives visitors unreserved access to the production lines that manufacture the Range Rover, Discovery, and Range Rover Sport. It’s also the place to see the production of the Jaguar F-Pace.
At the Liverpool Manufacturing Tour, visitors view the Discovery Sport and Range Rover Evoque. The two-mile long robotic assembly line shows the engine fitting, wheel fitting, and glazing. It’s also where the panels are molded and pressed, plus the aluminum and steel bodies are sealed.
They also offer the Range Rover Story Exhibition and Manufacturing Tour. This showcases the manufacturing process that goes into creating these SUVs and gives a close look at the Range Rover Velar.
Also in England, The British Motor Museum might not be solely dedicated to Land Rover vehicles, but they have the most extensive collection of British cars anywhere. Some of them include the first Land Rover ever produced (1948), the first and last models of the Freelander, and various Land Rover, Range Rover, and Rover P5 vehicles used by senior politicians and the British Royal Family. On display is also a SAS Land Rover, rare Llama lorry, Rover Gas Turbine cars, and the millionth Discovery 4.
Land Rover Finance
The Land Rover Financial Group is powered by Chase Bank. They offer several solutions to customers interested in a Land Rover for sale or a Land Rover to lease. The company is based out of Phoenix, Arizona and offers leasing options as well as purchasing solutions.
They offer special savings through the U.S. Military Sales Program. It’s available to all military personnel stationed overseas, U.S. military members, and D.O.D. civilians. Through the program, special savings apply on top of the incentives and rebates already allowed for the vehicle.
When purchasing a new Land Rover vehicle, there are several protection plans that are also offered. They have the standard Tire and Wheel Coverage, Paint Protection Clear Bra, Vehicle Service Contract, and Armor All Paint and fabric protection. They also provide Key Replacement, Lojack, Gap coverage, plus Lease excess wear and tear.
The Vehicle Service Contract offers protection for the road. It protects against repair costs and out-of-pocket expenses after the manufacturer’s warranty expires. There are several mileage/term combinations available to meet any need or budget. These plans are also great for a high-mileage vehicle to give some added protection.
On the Land Rover Finance site, there’s also a place to shop for authentic gear. The store offers lots of apparel options, clothing for kids, scale models, gifts, and luggage as well.
Land Rover Dealerships
In the United States, there are just shy of 200 Jaguar Land Rover Dealerships. To find the best dealerships, you’ll want to pay attention to the awards that the locations have. This helps to set them apart from the rest. One such award to look for is the Pinnacle Award. Only 16 retailers in the United States earn this honor. This prestigious award recognizes the top dealers in relation to sales, service, and top-notch customer satisfaction.
The J.D. Power Dealers of Excellence is also a good place to find a location when searching for a Land Rover to lease or buy. They keep a running list of the best dealerships in the country that go the extra mile. Currently, they have Jaguar Land Rover Marin listed from California. They also have two locations in Florida; both Land Rover North Dade and Land Rover South Dade.
At most of the dealerships, you’ll also find a comprehensive service center. Many of them offer flexible hours, online scheduling, valet parking, complimentary loaner vehicles, rental vehicles, as well as refreshments in the waiting area. There are even a few dealerships that provide their clients with Apple iPads and Wi-Fi while they wait.
6 Interesting Facts about Land Rover
1 – They were a sponsor for a college joyride. They provided students from Cambridge and Oxford with vehicles to drive across the continent. They considered it a chance for the students to learn by sending them to the Sahara and Singapore.
2 – During the 1950s, they created the Monster Truck. The British Forestry wanted a vehicle that would take on deep mud puddles. That’s when Land Rover bolted four tractor tires off a Studebaker to their Series IIA and created the first monster truck.
3 – The company wasn’t a fan of paying taxes. That’s why they created the Defender 110 which could fit 12 people. By classifying it as a bus, they were exempt from the taxes on passenger vehicles.
4 – They created a floating SUV, just because they could.
5 – They build the Range Rover exactly as the very first prototype was created. That’s unheard of in the car industry.
6 – The Range Rover design was so good; they showcased one in the Louvre. It was considered an industrial design masterpiece.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Difference Between a Land Rover vs. Range Rover? Range Rover is a part of the Land Rover family. The Land Rover vehicles are utilitarian SUVs. Range Rovers, on the other hand, focus on the premium segment customer and feature more luxuries.
Who Makes Land Rover? Tata Motors from India owns both Jaguar and Land Rover. Production occurs in the United Kingdom.
Are Land Rovers Reliable? Not according to the 2018 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. J.D. Power ranked Land Rover in the second to last place, right before Chrysler. What is interesting is that the older models seem to be reliable. That’s why many people look towards purchasing a used model versus buying a newer one.
Does Land Rover Own Jaguar? Who Owns Land Rover? Jaguar and Land Rover are both owned by Tata Motors. They were both under the British Leyland company for a long time, then owned by Ford. Through 2013, they operated separately, but their parent company decided to put them together as Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC.
Do Land Rovers Have Third Row Seating? There are currently three models that offer seven-passenger seating. The Range Rover Sport contains five-passenger seating standard, but contains a third-row option. The Discovery comes with a third-row but is also easy to configure for two, three, four, five, six, or seven-passenger seating when needed. The Discovery Sport also offers available third-row seating. There are lots of choices available from the manufacturer for larger-capacity SUVs, making these an excellent family option.