Land Rover came into existence just after World War II when the company was founded by two British brothers who wished to expand upon the concept of the American army jeep. The Series I was the first Land Rover unveiled for sale in 1948 and it came with permanent four-wheel drive. While the Series I was a long way from the current luxury Land Rover offers, they were highly effective at dealing with harsh terrain.
Throughout the 1950s Land Rover expanded to include more features and more power. The company constantly pushed the envelope of both interior and exterior design while introducing more horsepower and a diesel engine. Then, towards the end of the 1960s, Land Rover was acquired by the Leyland Motor company.
In 1970 Land Rover introduced the first Range Rover – creating a brand which would help propel the company forward. The Range Rover featured an aluminum body and a powerful V8 engine. It became an extremely popular seller and towards the end of the decade British Leyland was being nationalized. By the mid-1980s the company would be sold to British Aerospace.
In 1987 the Range Rover was brought to American soil. It was closely followed by the Discovery, which marked the first new Land Rover model offered to buyers in nearly twenty years. As the SUV market expanded and grew in popularity in the 1990s Land Rover evolved from a company offering excellent off-road experience into a company known for high-end luxury and performance. This was largely a by-product of the company being sold to BMW.
BMW sold Land Rover to Ford in 2000, but the American auto maker couldn’t hold onto the brand and sold Land Rover in 2008 under financial duress to the Indian auto manufacturer Tata.