In September 2013, Jaguar Land Rover announced plans to open a 100 million GBP (160 million USD) research and development centre in the University of Warwick, Coventry to create a next generation of vehicle technologies. The carmaker said around 1,000 academics and engineers would work there, and that construction would start in 2014.
The design for the original Land Rover vehicle was started in 1947 by Maurice Wilks, chief designer at the Rover Company, on his farm in Newborough, Anglesey. The design may have been influenced by the Jeep and the prototype, later nicknamed Centre Steer, was built on a Jeep chassis and axles. The early choice of colour was dictated by surplus military supplies of aircraft cockpit paint, so early vehicles only came in various shades of light green; all models until recently feature sturdy box section ladder-frame chassis. Early vehicles like the Series I, were field-tested at Long Bennington and designed to be field-serviced.
Land Rover as a company has existed since 1978. Prior to this, it was a product line of the Rover Company which was subsequently absorbed into the Rover-Triumph division of the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BL) following Leyland Motor Corporation’s takeover of Rover in 1967. The ongoing commercial success of the original Land Rover series models, and latterly the Range Rover in the 1970s in the midst of BL's well-documented business troubles prompted the establishment of a separate Land Rover company. This was still under the BL umbrella, remaining part of the subsequent Rover Group in 1988, under the ownership of British Aerospace after the remains of British Leyland were broken up and privatised. In 1994, Rover Group plc was acquired by BMW. In 2000, Rover Group was broken up by BMW and Land Rover was sold to Ford Motor Company, becoming part of its Premier Automotive Group. In 2006, Ford purchased the Rover brand from BMW for around £6 million.
Series II 88in
Series IIA Dashboard
In 2008, Ford Motor Company sold Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors. Included in the deal were the rights to three other British brands: Jaguar's own Daimler marque, as well as two dormant brands Lanchester and Rover. BMW and Ford had previously retained ownership of the Rover brand to protect the integrity of the Land Rover brand, with which 'Rover' might be confused in the US 4x4 market. The Rover brand was originally used under licence by MG Rover until it collapsed in 2005, at which point it was re-acquired by the then Ford Motor Company owned Land Rover Limited. This sale also included the dormant Rover brand. As of August 2012, most Land Rovers in production are powered by Ford engines. Under the terms of the acquisition, Tata has the right to buy engines from Ford until 2019. In 2011, Tata confirmed plans that it is investing $559 million to build an engine assembly plant in the British West Midlands. However, it was only stated that the plant will produce four-cylinder engines. The eight-cylinder engines used in Land Rovers were not mentioned.
1947: Rover's chief designer Maurice Wilks and his associates create a prototype using Jeep chassis and components
1948: The first Land Rover was officially launched 30 April 1948, at the Amsterdam Motor Show
1958: Series II launched
1961: Series IIA began production
1967: Rover becomes part of Leyland Motors Ltd, later British Leyland (BL) as Rover Triumph
1970: Introduction of the Range Rover
1971: Series III launched
1974: Land Rover abandons US market, facing competitive pressure from Japanese 4x4 brands 
1975: BL collapses and is nationalised, publication of the Ryder Report recommends that Land Rover be split from Rover and be treated as a separate company within BL and becomes part of the new commercial vehicle division called the Land Rover Leyland Group
1976: One-millionth Land Rover leaves the production line
1978: Land Rover Limited formed as a separate subsidiary of British Leyland
1980: Rover car production ends at Solihull with the transfer of SD1 production to Cowley, Oxford; Solihull is now exclusively for Land Rover manufacture. 5-door Range Rover introduced.
1983: Land Rover 90 (Ninety)/110 (One-Ten)/127 (renamed Defender in 1990) introduced
1986: BL plc becomes Rover Group plc; Project Llama started
1987: Range Rover is finally introduced to the US market, following many years of demand being filled by grey market sales
1988: Rover Group is privatised and becomes part of British Aerospace, and is now known simply as Rover
1989: Introduction of Discovery
1994: Rover Group is taken over by BMW. The introduction of second-generation Range Rover. (The original Range Rover was continued under the name 'Range Rover Classic' until 1995)
1997: Land Rover introduces the Special Edition Discovery XD with AA Yellow paint, subdued wheels, SD type roof racks, and a few other off-road upgrades directly from the factory. Produced only for the North American market, the Special Vehicles Division of Land Rover created only 250 of these bright yellow SUV's.
1997: Introduction of Freelander
1998: Introduction of the second generation of Discovery
2000: BMW breaks up the Rover Group and sells Land Rover to Ford for £1.8 billion
2002: Introduction of third-generation Range Rover
2004: Introduction of third-generation Discovery/LR3
2005: Introduction of Range Rover Sport
2005: Adoption of Jaguar AJ-V8 engine to replace the BMW M62 V8 in the Range Rover
2005: Land Rover 'founder' Rover, collapses under the ownership of MG Rover Group
2006: Announcement of a new 2.4-litre diesel engine, 6-speed gearbox, dash and forward-facing rear seats for Defender. The introduction of the second generation of Freelander (Freelander 2). Ford acquires the Rover trademark from BMW, who previously licenced its use to MG Rover Group
8 May 2007: 4,000,000th Land Rover rolls off the production line, a Discovery 3 (LR3), donated to The Born Free Foundation
12 June 2007: Announcement from the Ford Motor Company that it plans to sell Land Rover and also Jaguar Cars
August 2007: Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra as well as financial sponsors Cerberus Capital Management, TPG Capital and Apollo Global Management expressed their interest in purchasing Jaguar Cars and Land Rover from the Ford Motor Company.
26 March 2008: Ford agreed to sell their Jaguar Land Rover operations to Tata Motors.
2 June 2008: Tata Motors finalised their purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford.
2010: Introduction of fourth-generation Discovery/LR4
2011: The Range Rover Evoque introduced
2012: Fourth-generation Range Rover was exhibited at the 2012 Paris Motor Show
2014: The discovery Range exhibited at the 2014 New York Motor show.
Land Rovers were manufactured primarily at the Solihull plant, near Birmingham, but production of the Freelander was moved to the Halewood Body & Assembly plant near Liverpool, a former Ford car plant. The Freelander is also assembled in knock-down kit (CKD) form at Land Rover's facility in Pune, India.
Defender models are assembled under licence in several locations worldwide, including Spain (Santana Motors), Iran (Pazhan Morattab), Brazil (Karmann), and Turkey (Otokar). The former BL/Rover Group, technical centre at Gaydon in Warwickshire, is one of the JLR group's design centres, and the former Jaguar Cars head office in Whitley is now the group head office and another group design facility.
In May 2010, Tata Motors announced that it plans to build Land Rover and Jaguar models in Mainland China (PRC) as the company seeks to cut costs and expand sales.
In late-2012, the automaker announced a joint venture for Jaguars and Land Rovers to be built in China, now the world's biggest car-market. The agreement is with Chery, China's sixth largest auto manufacturer, and calls for a new Chinese factory in Changshu to build vehicles starting in 2014. Trial production at the facility began in April 2014, with a potential capacity of 130,000 vehicles annually. The First production model by the Chery Jaguar Land Rover venture is the Evoque, with other models planned that also include modifications, such as longer wheelbases, to satisfy Chinese market demand.
The Land Rover Series I, II, and III (commonly referred to as series Land Rovers, to distinguish them from later models) are off-road vehicles produced by the British manufacturer Land Rover that were inspired by the US-built Willys Jeep. In 1992, Land Rover claimed that 70% of all the vehicles they had built were still in use.
Series models feature leaf-sprung suspension with selectable two or four-wheel drive (4WD); though the Stage 1 V8 version of the Series III featured permanent 4WD. All three models could be started with a front hand crank and had the option of a rear power takeoff for accessories.
Land Rover Series I
Series IIA pickup-type
The Series III had the same body and engine options as the preceding IIa, including station wagons and the 1 Ton versions. Little changed cosmetically from the IIA to the Series III. The Series III is the most common Series vehicle, with 440,000 of the type built from 1971 to 1985. The headlights were moved to the wings on late production IIA models from 1968/9 onward (ostensibly to comply with Australian, American and Dutch lighting regulations) and remained in this position for the Series III. The traditional metal grille, featured on the Series I, II and IIA, was replaced with a plastic one for the Series III model. The 2.25-litre engine had its compression raised from 7:1 to 8:1, increasing the power slightly (the high compression engine had been an optional fit on the IIa model for several years). During the Series III production run from 1971 until 1985, the 1,000,000th Land Rover rolled off the production line in 1976. The Series III saw many changes in the later part of its life as Land Rover updated the design to meet increased competition. This was the first model to feature synchromesh on all four gears, although some late H-suffix SIIA models (mainly the more expensive Station Wagons) had used the all-synchro box. In keeping with early 1970s trends in automotive interior design, both in safety and use of more advanced materials, the simple metal dashboard of earlier models was redesigned to accept a new moulded plastic dash. The instrument cluster, which was previously centrally located, was moved to the driver's side. Long-wheelbase Series III vehicles had the Salisbury rear axle (the differential housing and axle case are one piece)[clarification needed] as standard, although some late SIIA 109-inch (2,800 mm) vehicles had them too.
In 1980, the 2.25-litre petrol and diesel engines received five main bearing crankshafts to increase rigidity and the transmission, axles and wheel hubs were strengthened. This was the culmination of a series of updates to the transmission that had been made since the 1960s to combat the all-too-common problem of the rear axle half-shafts breaking in heavy usage. This problem was partly due to the design of the shafts themselves. Due to the fully floating design of the rear wheel hubs, the half shafts can be removed very quickly without even having to jack the vehicle off the ground. The tendency for commercial operators to overload their vehicles exacerbated this flaw which blighted the Series Land Rovers in many of their export markets and established a reputation that continues in many markets to the present day. This is despite the 1982 re-design (mainly the increase of driving-splines from 10 to 24 to reduce stress) that all but solved the problem.
Also, new trim options were introduced to make the interior more comfortable if the buyer so wished (many farmers and commercial users preferred the original, non-trimmed interior).
These changes culminated in April 1982 with the introduction of the "County" spec. Station Wagon Land Rovers, available in both 88-inch (2,200 mm) and 109-inch (2,800 mm) types. These had all-new cloth seats from the Leyland T-45 Lorry, soundproofing kits, tinted glass and other "soft" options designed to appeal to the leisure owner/user.
Of more interest was the introduction of the High Capacity Pick Up to the 109-inch (2,800 mm) chassis. This was a pick-up truck load bay that offered 25% more cubic capacity than the standard pick-up style. The HCPU came with heavy-duty suspension and was popular with public utility companies and building contractors.