When Was Land Rover Founded?

Land Rover Logo


The brand we know and love today as Land Rover traces its humble beginnings back to 1885 in Warwickshire, England, at a small shop where an enterprise called the Rover Company made bicycles. As the business grew and evolved, bikes took a back seat out and automobiles became the venture’s primary focus. In 1948, the manufacturer rolled out the Land Rover model series, officially grounding the brand as it is regarded today. 

Land Rover Origins

The first Land Rover design was traced in the sand on a Welsch beach by Rover Company engineer Maurice Wilks in 1947. When his brother saw the sketch, they realized the dream had potential— and they made it real. Originally, 

  • The design was inspired by Jeep, and the prototype was built on a Jeep axle and chassis.
  • Land Rovers were painted an ashy green thanks to the surplus of paint for World War II military vehicles. 
  • Land Rover first secured a spot at the Amsterdam Model Show on April 30, 1948, revealing its first models. 

Land Rover Company Timeline

  • 1967: Rover Company evolves to be Rover Triumph, under the great Leyland Motors (later British Leyland Motors).
  • 1970: The first Land Rover Range Rover model is revealed. 
  • 1976: Right before Land Rover officially turns 30, it celebrates the production of its one millionth Land Rover vehicle. 
  • 1978: Land Rover Limited becomes an independent entity under British Leyland Motors. 
  • 1987: The Range Rover first hit the US market. 
  • 1989: The Land Rover Discovery comes on to the scene. 
  • 1994: BMW acquires the Rover Group. 
  • 2005: Range Rover reveals the Range Rover Sport.
  • 2007: Land Rover celebrates the four million Land Rover vehicles produced. 
  • 2008: Tata Motors, based in India, acquires both Land Rover and Jaguar from Ford, eventually creating the modern day Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary. 
  • 2011: The Range Rover Evoque hits dealership lots. 
  • 2014: The Land Rover Discovery Sport takes the place of the Land Rover Freelander.
  • 2017: The Range Rover Velar makes its debut
  • 2018: The Cortex project is announced, a Land Rover venture aiming to “create self-propelled car robots that can independently navigate off-road in all weather conditions. 
  • 2019: The Land Rover Defender is resurrected and redesigned as the most rugged Land Rover yet.

Learn More About Land Rover at Land Rover Charleston

There’s a lot of pride in driving a Land Rover model, and with a knowledge of its rich history, you come to understand why. Not only are these vehicles expertly engineered for tough, intrepid, and stylish driving, they come from a background that proves the authenticity you feel when you drive a Land Rover. Ready to test drive? Contact our dealership team today to schedule a test drive, or our finance team to talk about financing or leasing a new Land Rover.

Explore Our Models

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    The 2021 Range Rover is the pinnacle of luxury. When you want a performance-included SUV that offers a plethora of interior features, this is the SUV for you! Explore the different Range Rover interior features in this handy guide from Land Rover Charleston. Then, take a look at our inventory to find the new Range Rover for…

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Land Rover Charleston 38.3260408, -81.7135297.