In business, it isn’t uncommon for big companies to be owned by even bigger corporations. As time goes by, this company may be bought and sold depending on how it performs. Land Rover is one such company.
Since its conception in 1947, it has been sold and bought by many a large corporation. At one point, it became associated with the well-known Ford. The question many have now is: does Ford own Land Rover?
Does Ford Own Land Rover?
In its years, Land Rover was obtained by several large corporations such as BMW and Ford. However, as of this date, Ford does not own Land Rover.
In 1994, BMW owned the Rover Group plc which, at the time, included Land Rover. However, BMW chose to break up the Rover Group and ultimately sold the Land Rover company to Ford in the year 2000 for the amount fo 2.9 billion dollars.
However, it was not until 2006 that Ford truly became owners of the Rover brand as BMW retained ownership of the brand despite selling Land Rover over to Ford many years prior.
Apparently, it cost Ford 6 million British pounds or a little over 7.7 million dollars to obtain full rights to the brand.
This association would last for 8 years until March 26, 2008 when Ford announced that it had sold Land Rover operations as well as Jaguar to a different company.
How Did Ford Affect Land Rover?
Being a member of the Ford Motor Company umbrella had a great effect on how Land Rover operated and designed their automobiles.
Just to put things in perspective – Ford Motor Company, otherwise simply known as Ford, is an American automobile manufacturer founded by Henry Ford in 1903. Since its conception, it has constructed many different vehicles for various purposes.
Given this, by the time it had acquired Land Rover, it already had almost a century of experience under its belt and a lot of money to invest and grow what Land Rover had already established.
Here below are some of the influences that Ford had on the infamous Land Rover
New Generation Discovery
One of the most major influences that the Ford Motor Company probably had on Land Rover is the innovation of a new design for the Discovery 3.
Most Land Rovers during the time of Ford’s acquisition featured vintage, boxy frames that gave it the outdoors man look and set it apart from its competition. However, at the time, this was already outdated and Ford wanted to switch things up and bring the company to modern times.
So, they commissioned Land Rover’s engineers to completely change and innovate the design of the new Discovery 3.
This brought on the new “Integrated Body Frame” and introduced the whole make-up of a high-tech hydroform arrangement in place of the body ladder frame that Land Rover vehicles once had.
As of today, only the Defender maintains the original design that Land Rover established in 1948.
Of course, this new Land Rover Discovery model also came with a brand new plan for a more spacious body that continues to define standards for sports utility vehicles to date.
Change of Engine
One other thing that marks Ford’s time with Land Rover is the change of engine.
At the time Land Rover mainly made use of the Rover V8 engine. The ones that were found in Land Rover machines was a redesign of the original compact V8 internal combustion engine created by General Motors.
Now, this was an extremely capable engine, however, it was considered extremely outdated as its designs were still based on designs from the 1960s. As a result, by Ford’s acquisition, the Rover V8 struggled to compete with other engines that were currently used at the time.
Ford decided to scrap the whole thing and replace it with a much better, newer engine which was a joint Ford-Peugeot design – 2.7 liter AJD V6-T.
This engine was also introduced on the Land Rover Discovery 3 which also ran on the engines 4.0 L Ford Cologne V6 and the 4.4 L AJ41 V8 both of which used gas as its fuel.
What Made Ford Sell Land Rover?
At the end of the day, the sole reason why Ford chose to sell Land Rover was because it wasn’t making enough money. In reality, the acquisition of Land Rover made them lose money.
Ford initially spent 2.9 billion dollars to acquire Land Rover and Jaguar from BMW and another 7.7 million dollars to obtain full rights to the Rover brand.
After its acquisition of the Land Rover operations, Ford continued to invest billions of dollars every year in an attempt to improve the brand and its production. They did this in the hopes that, in turn, they would be able to increase sales and potential profit.
However, this ended up being one of their biggest financial losses that Ford has ever had to endure. This is mainly because sales never really compensated for their initial investment.
It is said that their financial records reflect a loss of an estimated 35 billion to 50 billion during their acquisition of Land Rover and Jaguar. Truly, these two luxury brands brought a huge burden to Ford.
This was placed on top of the money that Ford was already losing in itself.
At the end of the day, they chose to sell the once potentially great investment. After screening multiple bidders, ownership and rights to Land Rover and Jaguar as well as their production went to Tata Motors, an Indian car manufacturing company part of the Tata Group based in Mumbai, India.
This deal was far from simple and included a clause that stated that Ford will continue to support Tata by continuously providing Ford-made components. In addition to that, they will also be dealing with whatever labor issues that may occur as a result of their deal.
The tale between Ford and Land Rover is an example of how an initially good idea might not turn out to be what you expected. Land Rover was already a popular name in the automobile world and a partnership with Ford seemed like a match made in heaven, but ultimately Ford had to surrender Land Rover in an attempt to keep its own business afloat.