Though the brand debuted in 1948, Land Rover didn't officially make its way across the Atlantic until 1987. Since then, Americans have bought over 575,000 of the upwardly mobile sport utilities. Land Rover is largely credited with inciting the luxury SUV craze with its plush Range Rover line. When the leather-trimmed four-wheel drives arrived in the U.S. in '87, their $30,850 MSRP put it head and shoulders above the competition... at least in terms of cost. Hit the jump for the full press release, but before you do, check out our gallery of vintage Land Rover awesome.
• 2012 marks the 25th year of Land Rover in the United States
• Land Rover will celebrate this milestone at the 2012 New York Auto Show with an urban off-road adventure and a VIP Celebration. Heritage Land Rovers on display at the off-road course will include: 1987 Range Rover, 1993 Land Rover 110, 1995 Range Rover Classic, 1995 Camel Trophy Discovery and a 1997 Defender soft top
• U.S. is the world's largest market for Land Rover's luxury flagship Range Rover SUVs and New York City the largest metro market
• and Rover was founded in 1948 but was not marketed in the United States until Range Rover North America was established and the first Range Rover was sold in the Spring of 1987
• The Range Rover created a new automotive market segment: the luxury sport utility. At the time of its launch in 1987, the $30,850 retail price made it the most expensive vehicle of its type
• More than 575,000 Land Rover vehicles have been sold in North America since 1987
• Today's Land Rover lineup includes, LR2 (Freelander 2), LR4 (Discovery 4), Range Rover Sport, Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque
Mahwah, N.J. – (March 20, 2012) Land Rover's luxury flagship model, the Range Rover was officially introduced to the United States 25 years ago this year in 1987. To celebrate this milestone, Land Rover will host a special celebration in conjunction with the New York Auto Show and will invite consumers to an urban off-road adventure where they will drive 2012 model year vehicles at a custom-made course in the heart of New York City's meatpacking district. In the past quarter century, the growth and acceptance of the Land Rover brand in the U.S. marks a true product and brand success story. That success is defined by loyal customers, a distinct authentic brand and consistent sales success.
The original Range Rover (colloquially known as the "Range Rover Classic") established a new market segment for dual-purpose vehicles that could go almost anywhere and has been the platform for numerous technological innovations in the industry. Its unmatched capability, rich heritage, and favored status among world leaders, entertainment personalities, athletes and design visionaries has established the Range Rover as a benchmark icon.
Created in 1970 by Land Rover as their second model, the Range Rover luxury SUV was an addition to the well-established Land Rover utility vehicles that evolved after WWII. Land Rover vehicles were frequently featured in movies, TV shows about African exploration, and world news coverage. Land Rover was often the vehicle of choice for teams bringing humanitarian relief in war zones or natural disasters.
In the 1980s, four-door sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were beginning to emerge in America. Often built on pick-up truck chassis with rather harsh rides, the lack of refinement often limited their appeal as all-purpose family cars. An innovation featured on the Range Rover was the use of coil springs at all four wheels, rather than leaf springs, as seen on other four wheel drive vehicles. This suspension design gave it an exceptionally smooth ride.
The first Range Rover had a U.S. price of $30,850, an unprecedented figure for a vehicle most people thought of as a truck rather than a luxury car. The Range Rover of North America team set out to establish the brand, offering potential customers the opportunity to add the Range Rover to their portfolio of the very best luxury goods that life has to offer.
In the past 25 years, the Range Rover has achieved an enviable position in the marketplace, and has been the choice of discriminating buyers for its prestige, panache and performance. Land Rover's latest success story is the launch of the award winning 2012 Range Rover Evoque, the company's lightest and most fuel-efficient SUV ever. The all-new Range Rover Evoque has received over 95 international awards including the 2012 'North American Truck of the Year' and the 2012 Motor Trend 'SUV of the Year'. The award winning Range Rover Evoque is currently sold out and expected to remain on backorder for the remainder of 2012.
With 2011 sales up a remarkable 20 percent, Land Rover in North America scored the largest improvement, percentage-wise, of any of its luxury vehicle competitors with total sales exceeding 38,000 vehicles. Today's Land Rover lineup includes, LR2 (Freelander 2), LR4 (Discovery 4), Range Rover Sport, Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque.
"The outlook for the company in this its 25th anniversary year is strong and confident," said Andy Goss, President, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. "Our current product line-up is the strongest we've ever had and the U.S. consumer strongly embraces our brand. The deeply ingrained corporate values and dedication to the brand that were instilled by the original management team 25 years ago has served Land Rover well. Today, there's a renewed focus, enthusiasm and energy within the company," Goss said.