Ford Oficially Acquires Land Rover | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Ford Oficially Acquires Land Rover


Moderator In Memoriam
Elite In Memoriam
July 18, 1999
Reaction score
City, State
Annapolis, MD
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 Limited
published: 05 July 2000
date of revision: none
source: Ford
Robert Lane, staff writer

Ford Motor Company has officially acquired Land Rover, the world's best-known name in 4x4 vehicles.

Commenting on the acquisition, Land Rover's new chairman and chief executive officer Bob Dover said: 'We are very pleased and proud to have acquired such a famous and distinguished vehicle maker. We are aware of the company's heritage and proud tradition, and will maintain and enhance that reputation.'

Land Rover becomes a member of Ford Motor Company's Premier Automotive Group, joining Jaguar, Aston Martin, Volvo and Lincoln. Its chairman is Dr Wolfgang Reitzle.

Mr Dover, 55, has worked in the British motor industry for 32 years. He has a background in engineering and manufacturing and, from 1984 to 1987, served as director of manufacturing for Land Rover.

Speaking at his first press conference since his new Land Rover appointment, Mr Dover pledged the new management team's commitment to Solihull as a manufacturing and assembly centre, and to Gaydon as the company's design and engineering base. Gaydon will also become the new corporate headquarters for Land Rover.

'I recognise the tremendous uncertainty that has been felt by all our employees and their families recently,' said Mr Dover. 'I hope we can now put the last few difficult months behind us. In the years ahead, the Land Rover management team intend to build a company where all employees are valued and respected, and where we can all be proud to say: "We work for Land Rover."

'There are, however, many challenges ahead. We must further improve customer satisfaction and get the company back to profitability. We will become profitable by growing the business through rising sales, and by careful cost management.'

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I also read in the Detroit News that Ford/Rover was going to bring over the Freelander to the States. The Freelander is a little RAV4-type rig, but with some fairly impressive factory options, such as a demountable winch.

Come on, Ford, Bring back the Defender...

I heard the rumor about the Freelander too. However, I think the chances of them bringing back the Defender sre slim to none. For one, the process of bringing the Defender up to American safety standards would ruin what you guys like about it. And secondly, it sold so poorly, and again would sell poorly. Not gonna happen.

I need to write on that one

Actually, Land Rover had scheduled to bring the Freelander already for this spring! I'm somehow surprised that Ford decided to bring it anyhow, because it targets the EXACTLY same market as the new Ford Escape. The two SUV's actually even look a lot alike. I wonder if they just will bring it with the V6, or also with the turbo diesel (Well, don't think so!)

Regarding the Defender, I unluckily really don't think that they will bring the Defender back.
First of all, throughout Europe, the Defender is just sold with the Td5 turbo diesel, I'm not even sure if they still produce any V8 gas Defenders for some export markets like Saudi Arabia.
Second, the Defender is scheduled for a new model for 2002. It's just speculations right now how it will look and what it will feature (there are some sceary rumors about uniframe and indipendent suspensions), and if it will be more work horse (hopefully) or luxury SUV (please not). On the bottom line, I fear that Land Rover / Ford will not make the necessary changes for bringing it back to the U.S. for a car that has just two more years to live (man do I hope to be wrong!! :D )
Stephen, I don't think it would sell poorly if they would sell it as what it is and would not try to make a yuppi-vehicle out of it. You guys needed to pay about 1.5 times of what we needed to pay for a Defender, and ours are diesel which normally are more expensive. I just saw the other day that a 1993 Defender 110 (long wheelbase) with 20 kmls. got sold for $ 42'000. That's insane, sick and perv&%*. A new Defender 110 is about $ 25'000 in Switzerland. Bring the Defender for under $ 30'000 to the U.S. and you would easily sell 6'000 to 10'000 a year, which might be a small number compared to the sales of Ford, but wouldn't be bad for Land Rover.

The Wrangler is just too small. It's great for when you are young and in love. Once love showes results, there is just not enough luggage space.

There was a concept car of a 4 door Wrangler Chrysler made about 2 or 3 years ago, they called it "Dakar". It was not too big, about 110" wheelbase. If J**p would have produced this 4 door Wrangler, I don't think I would be writing in this forum today. I really liked that thing, and I still would like it.

I also heard about a redesign of the Defender. I know it doesn't make sense to import it before the remake. I was more hoping they would take US safety standards into account when they redesign it, and import it here.

The Freelander looked more like a Suzuki Sidekick to me, maybe a little bigger.