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Ford: Land Rover

The 1947 Defender Prototype

Land Rover, together with Rover,  has a long tradition in various ownerships. The actual owner is Ford Motor Company (click here for details on the deal), although the rest of Rover was sold to a private consortium and is bankrupt in the meantime. Here a little overview of the Land Rover story over the decades:

Since the very first design appeared in 1948, the Land Rover name has become universally identified with definitive four-wheel drive vehicles. Between them, Defender, Freelander, Discovery and Range Rover have evolved to satisfy every requirement for urban style, comfort and unbeatable off-road capability. It´s a remarkable story that reads like a history of the 4x4 itself.


Over the last 55 years, the Land Rover range of vehicles has evolved to become a byword for toughness, durability, comfort and elegant style. Year by year, Land Rover models have redefined the world´s 4x4 categories.

Winston Churchill in WW2 in front of the
Land Rover Defender

First manufactured back in 1948, the history of this unique vehicle reveals a remarkable consistency of engineering vision, from the earliest models right through to today´s Defender, over 55 years later.

Designers of the Range Rover David Bache, Span King and Gordon Bashford

In the mid 1960s, convinced that there was a market for a more luxurious four-wheel drive vehicle, Land Rover developed a ground breaking new model.

1970 Range Rover by Leyland Cars, the owner of Land Rover at this time

It combined saloon car levels of performance, handling, ride comfort and refinement with all the ruggedness and 4x4 ability of a Land Rover.

Discovery is a vehicle with a rich heritage, building as it does on over fifty years of Land Rover expertise. Demonstrating how experience and innovation can lead to unbeatable designs, its latest form – All New Discovery 3 – stands ready to redefine the sector once again.

Launched in 1997, Freelander showed once again that new Land Rover products always redefine their sector of the market. It launched Land Rover into a new area of the 4x4 leisure market and expanded the brand´s appeal well beyond traditional 4x4 buyers.

Photos: Ford Motor Company

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