Reliable, gutsy, fearless, sometimes ferocious and bold. The British Land Rover. In the hands of Tata India. But we’ll let that slide, I mean (and I am about to get political) we just hand over everything, so why would our ingenious, robust cars be any different.
Once in the hands of the Rover Company, a company that specialised in civilian cars but was unfortunately not doing so well in the financial department. It was lucky that Managing Director of Rover employed a one Spencer Wilks, who became the General Manager in 1929. It is said that without this engagement, there was no way Rover was to survive the depression.
It should be noted that Rover had the Land Rover brand from its conception in 1947, and Land Rover as a company didn’t start until 1978. However, in 1967 Leyland Motor Corporation took over Rover, after it was immersed into the British Leyland Motor Corporations (BL) Rover – Triumph division.
The Rover Group, with the on-going success of both Landey and Rangey by 1988, managed to bypass and survive the business issues of BL, by establishing a Land Rover company and staying as part of the Rover Group under the BL umbrella, but now with a new ownership of British Aerospace. BL’s remains were subsequently broken up and privatised. But, as per usual, it doesn’t stay that way forever, someone wants a bit of the action and someone else goes broke. 1994 comes around the corner and BMW have started sniffing in the wind and take over Rover Group PLC, and it only takes them a short 6 years to break it up and ship it off to Ford Motor Company. Wonderful! Now Ford have brought Landey into its fair, warm and comforting bosom to be part of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group.
Now this is where we get to the present and the Indians. By June 2008 (after the sale was made that March) Land Rover have left the fostering nests of Ford and found themselves among the classier birds, Jaguars, where Ford sold both to Tata Motors. Luckily they took an interest, as JCB, a British Manufacturer of Excavating Vehicles, perked their noses up to buy Jaguar Cars the year before, but were not interested in buying the faithful Landey, so passed up the opportunity.