In 1947, Maurice Wilks, head of design at Rover, drew up his idea of a multifunctional vehicle. It was inspired by the American Jeep, but his vehicle was primarily intended for agricultural use. The prototype was (also) based on the chassis of a Jeep. Rover took the vehicle, which had been christened Land Rover, into production. It was presented at the AutoRAI in Amsterdam in 1948.
In 1978, Land Rover became a real brand, a strategic decision, as the British Leyland group to which Rover belonged was getting deeper into trouble. Finally, in 2000, Land Rover entered Ford’s Premier Automotive Group through British Aerospace and BMW, which sold Land Rover to Tata in 2008 along with Jaguar.
The original Land Rover, now referred to as Series, was hugely successful and in recent years continued to be produced under the Defender name in advanced form until 2016. The Range Rover, introduced in 1970, was also a great success and was actually the first SUV as we know it today.