Land Rover had a long and sometimes complicated history of ownership.
It went through no less than eight ownerships throughout its history. Much of the ownership was under the Rover Company until it was separated under BMWs ownership.
The current owner of Land Rover is Tata Motors, which has joined the brand with Jaguar to make the Jaguar Land Rover Limited company.
The Rover Company – 1948-1967
The Rover Company was the creator of Land Rover vehicles and the first owner of Land Rover.
The idea for the Land Rover came from Rover’s chief engineer Maurice Wilks.
The designs for the first Land Rover started in 1947 with construction starting soon after in 1948.
The first Land Rover and the brand were displayed to the world in Amsterdam in April of 1948.
Leyland Motor Corporation – 1967-1968
What happened after Rover’s ownership of Land Rover was quite complicated.
First Land Rover was owned by Leyland Motor Corporation. This was only a short ownership between 1967 and 1968. Later they moved ownership through different divisions.
Land Rover still remained under British Leyland but under different umbrellas, as British Leyland had many business troubles at the time.
British Leyland – 1968-1978
Land Rover Ltd – 1978-1989
The first time Land Rover stood on its own as a single brand was in 1978. This was a stand-alone company within the former British Leyland group.
Up until this time Land Rover was marketed under British Leyland. The business decision to market Land Rover as its own brand in 1978 was one of the greatest moves that led to a lot of Land Rovers’ success, and one that separated the brand from Rover cars.
British Aerospace – 1989-1994
After British Leyland was broken up and divided, British Aerospace acquired Land Rover for a short period under the Rover Group Brand.
This was quite an unusual move by British Aerospace to purchase the Rover Group. At this time although Land Rover was marketed as its own brand it was still under the umbrella of the Rover Group.
Part of the business decision of British Aerospace purchasing the Rover Group was to acquire Land Rover.
The purchase price British Aerospace paid for the Rover Group including Land Rover was 150 million pounds sterling.
BMW – 1994-2000
BMW acquired the Rover Group on January 31, 1994. This gave them ownership of the Land Rover brand which they kept until the year 2000 when the Rover Group was broken up and Land Rover was sold to the Ford Motor Company.
Under BMW, Land Rover has seen some changes. Shortly after the acquisition, the second generation of Range Rovers was announced, although BMW didn’t have much input in this model they were responsible for much of the engineering behind the Range Rover III including the first monocoque chassis and independent suspension.
However, these models were not introduced under BMW but were later introduced under Ford.
Ford Motor Company – 2000-2008
Ford acquired ownership of Land Rover in 2001 after reaching a deal with BMW.
They later went on to acquire the Rover brand from BMW which they paid in the region of 6 million pounds for.
Ford had a big impact on the direction Land Rover would go and began to move the brand away from its traditional model and image and in a new direction.
One of the first changes we have seen was an integrated body frame which was introduced in a new generation of Discovery.
A few new engine models came under Ford also, such as the TDV6 for the Discovery and the Puma for the Defender.
Ford announced plans to sell both Land Rover and Jaguar on 11 June 2007.
Tata Group – 2008-2016
On March 26 2008 Ford announced that it had reached an agreement with Tata Motors for the purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover.
The acquisition was complete in June 2008 and Tata motors became the new owners of Land Rover and Jaguar for a total of 1.7 billion pounds.
Tata motors ran the two brands as separate companies until 2013 when it merged the two companies together to form Jagua Land Rover Limited.
Tata Motors is still the owner of Land Rover today and are responsible for some big changes in the brand, such as the discontinuation of the original Land Rover Defender and the release of a new Defender which has received praise from around the world.
The Land Rover brand is an iconic brand and is recognized worldwide. Land Rover vehicles have reached almost every part of the world.
For a brand with such a wide reach and long history, it’s only natural to see a few ownership changes. The longest period of ownership was with British Leyland.