Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,068 pages of information and 231,597 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1947 Spencer Wilks and Maurice Wilks, of Rover, conceived the idea of the Land Rover, seeing a commercial demand for a small, economical, four-wheel drive, "go anywhere" vehicle. Their design was based on the Willys Jeep, using Rover components, and with a body made from aluminium plates to save on steel and dies.
1948 Launched at Amsterdam Motor Show
1949 First Land Rover four-wheel-drive vehicle powered by a 1,600cc engine and a 15cwt payload.
From 1949 production of the Land Rover exceeded Rover car output by an increasing margin each year.
Between 1948 and 1958 the company sold 200,000 Land Rovers, over 70 per cent for export.
1950 Maurice Wilks began to develop a long wheelbase Land Rover - Long wheel base (LWB) model was introduced.
1952 Wilks had the idea for what was to appear as the Range Rover
1957 Diesel engine option.
By 1962 three times as many Land Rovers as Rover cars were sold.
Company became part of British Leyland Motor Corporation.
1970 Range Rover introduced.
By 1982 was one of the 4 main divisions of BL
1987 The Land Rover part of Rover Group was trading profitably.
2002 Became part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group along with Aston Martin, Volvo Cars, etc. Land Rover became closely associated with Jaguar, sharing sales and distribution network (including shared dealerships) in many countries; some models shared components and production facilities.