The Land Rover brand dates back to 1948. The company produced its first cars during an acute shortage of steel, which was experienced by the entire UK industry after the end of World War II. However, the founders of the company, brothers Maurice and Spencer Wilkes, tried to make the machines as strong and reliable as possible. The development of the prototype began a year earlier, for which the government of the country provided a plant in the city of Solihull, which during the war years was engaged in the production of engines for tanks and aircraft. For the production of bodies, it was decided to use aircraft aluminum, which was no longer required for the needs of the army in such huge quantities. The model was named Land Rover and was presented at the 1948 Auto Show in Amsterdam. The interest in it was extremely great, and soon the company was inundated with orders. So, the car, which was planned as a temporary option until the removal of quotas for steel purchases, became the main one for this British manufacturer.
After 2 years, the first car improvement was carried out. Land Rover engineers have developed a system for shifting the transmission between rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive. In addition, the company decided to provide customers with a wider choice, making several variants of SUVs, differing in wheelbase lengths, as well as in the shape and size of the bodies.
Due to its reliability, Land Rover soon gained immense popularity. It was bought by farmers, rescue and repair services, the army, and by 1959 more than a quarter of a million cars of this model had been produced.
The early 1960s saw a surge in the popularity of four-wheel drive SUVs. Travelers, family people and ordinary hard workers - everyone who needed a strong car capable of driving where any other cars get stuck and at the same time carrying cargo or passengers turned their attention in this direction. For Land Rover, this was a signal to start developing a new model, which would not only have high driving parameters, but also allow to move in comfortable conditions. So in 1970, a family SUV was born, called the "Range Rover", which instantly became a hit of sales and became the first comfortable car of this class. To consolidate its position in the market, the company exhibited its cars for participation in the Paris-Dakar rally, where they showed excellent results.
The next breakthrough in the field of off-road vehicles came in 1989, when the company introduced the Land Rover Discovery. At the Frankfurt Motor Show, the model made a splash, receiving many positive reviews from experts and visitors, and a number of enthusiastic responses in the press. Among the technical innovations used in the creation of this car, it is worth noting the permanent all-wheel drive and the HDS system, designed to improve control while driving downhill.
The following year, the Land Rover 90 and 110 models, which had already become classic by that time, received a number of exterior updates, as well as a new name - Defender.
In 1994, the company was bought out by the German BMW. The first lineup update following the change of ownership was the Land Rover Freelander, which began production in 1997. It was the smallest SUV ever produced by the company, and it was the firstborn for the company, in the development of which it was decided to move away from the classic layout. The engine of the model had a transverse arrangement, independent suspension, and the body structure was load-bearing.
Following the general trend, in 2005 Land Rover launches a sports modification of its Range Rover SUV, which became one of the founders of the Sport Tourer class. It combined classic qualities such as high flotation and high engine thrust, and aggressive, high-speed appearance and character. An updated version of this model was presented in 2013.
In 2008, Tata Motors becomes the new owner of the company. The Indian corporation has bought out several world-renowned SUV manufacturers, including Land Rover. However, its management decided not to interfere in the successful work of its British "daughter", limiting itself only to concern about the economy of engines and the use of hybrid power plants.
In 2010, the Range Rover Evoque was introduced, which became a novelty among the compact SUVs. The car was first shown at an exhibition held in Los Angeles, where it once again brought global attention to the brand with both its elegant appearance and technical characteristics.
At the 2011 International Auto Show in Frankfurt, Land Rover showcased two new concept cars: the Defender DC100 and DC100 Sport. Their serial production began in 2015 in three trim levels at once: Autobiography, Heritage and Adventure. The cars intend to compete with the Toyota Hilux pickup and become the best-selling SUVs.
In 2013, Land Rover unveiled the new Range Rover Sport in New York. This SUV is equipped with a fully independent suspension, three-liter and five-liter V6 and V8 engines, respectively.
In 2015, Land Rover and Jaguar announced plans for hybrid and electric models. They timed their developments to a large-scale program to reduce fuel consumption and the amount of harmful emissions by 2020. In addition, Land Rover has begun work on the most expensive model in its history, which should become a worthy competitor for the Bentley Bentayga.