Land Rover : UK Government offers grant for new Range Rover

Government assistance has secured the future of the Land Rover LRX

Government assistance has secured the future of the Land Rover LRX

The UK Government has confirmed a grant offer of up to £27 million is to be made available to Land Rover for the production of an all-new car. The company is due to make a final decision on the the go-ahead of the project at its award-winning plant in Halewood, on Merseyside, later this year.

The car would be based on Land Rover’s acclaimed LRX Concept vehicle, first shown at the Detroit Show last year, and would be the smallest, lightest and most efficient it has ever produced.

“We welcome the Government’s support for this project, which would form a key part of our future product plans and which we very much want to put into production,” said Phil Popham, Managing Director of Land Rover.

Land Rover has also confirmed that the new car would be a key addition to the Range Rover family of luxury vehicles.

The grant offer will be made available under the Government’s Grant for Business Investment scheme and is an important contribution towards the overall £400 million cost of the project. This is separate from the broader automotive support package currently being unveiled by the Government.

Although it still has to go through a number of approval gateways in the product development process before getting the final go-ahead, Land Rover has also confirmed that the new car would be a key addition to the Range Rover family of luxury vehicles.

Phil Popham said, “Our engineering feasibility study has shown that we can very successfully deliver Range Rover levels of quality, drivability and breadth of performance in a more compact, more sustainable, package. Feedback from the most extensive customer research we have ever undertaken also fully supports our belief that a production version of the LRX Concept would further raise the desirability of our brand and absolutely meet all those expectations.

“It would be the smallest, lightest and most efficient Range Rover that we’ve ever built,” Phil added. “The compact size, lighter weight and sustainability-focused technologies of the LRX Concept showed how Land Rover is planning to respond to the needs of a changing world. Despite the current economic challenges, we remain committed to investing for the future, to continue to deliver relevant vehicles for our customers, with the outstanding breadth of capability for which we are world-renowned.”

We can very successfully deliver Range Rover levels of quality, drivability and breadth of performance in a more compact, more sustainable, package.

The new Range Rover would embrace excellent levels of refinement and all-round capability and also introduce new powertrain options, providing a major step forward in enabling the implementation of Land Rover’s e-terrain technologies strategy and achievement of its goal to exceed a 20 per cent improvement in CO2 emissions.

“Both the design and size of the LRX Concept have generated a hugely positive reaction wherever it has been seen and we’ve also gathered fresh insights on what potential owners would look for in a production equivalent. That knowledge is now being applied to the process of refining the vehicle as it heads towards final approval,” said Phil.

The Halewood facility employs 2000 people and is a recipient of the JD Power Gold Standard. It currently produces the Land Rover Freelander 2 and Jaguar X-TYPE.

Land Rover LRX

Land Rover LRX

[Source: Land Rover]

Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

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  1. Tim Collis says:

    What a shame then that nothing could be done for LDV!

  2. Ayd says:

    What we’ve been waiting for – a 21st century Rover SD1! If they can make it eco friendly and sell it on the back of that message too we’ll have a winner.

  3. Wilko says:

    Agree with Tim – Government seems to have no trouble bailing out Indian-owned JLR but refuses point blank to do anything for LDV, despite a promising new product and the potential of a return to British ownership for the company.

  4. Mike C says:

    JLR are to fair far more important for the UK motor industry than LDV, with a large UK design base, whereas LDV only developed the Maxus on the back of Daewoo money and resources. British ownership for LDV will be irrelevant if they go broke like they did previously when independent

  5. Ken Strachan says:

    How about Range Rover Nano ;o)

  6. JON says:

    from what i can see LDV has never been a compnay that can produce anything near what is neeed to be competative, the Maxus was a spet in the right direction, however is the billionaire owner has not bothered then why should the government !!!!

  7. KM-TV says:

    Ken Strachan :
    How about Range Rover Nano ;o)

    i-Rangie perhaps?

    And it is indeed a pity about LDV, but the government can’t keep bailing out failing companies, and it seems that the bigger fish are the ones getting the money due to employing more people etc. etc. etc.

  8. Pete says:

    Why do the government, wait to its almost to late why no help LDV, and why on earth did they let MGR go doen the tubes,

  9. Pete says:

    Why do the government, wait to its almost to late why no help LDV, and why on earth did they let MGR go down the tubes,

  10. Tim Pearson says:

    If someone approached you wearing the same scowl as this LR, would you cower or try in vain to fight him? Sadly, this facade could be applied to a mainstream model. Let’s hope it doesn’t rub off onto the drivers’ mindsets.

    At one time cars tried to look smiley. In the same way that Arthur Scargill is now gaing an illogical respect in many minds, this monster is making a 1974 Datsun 120Y seem charismatic.

  11. Mark Pitchford says:

    @Tim Pearson Arthur Scargill “gaining an illogical respect”? Yes, he was hopelessly wrong about the fate of the miners, wasn’t he? By underestimating the scale of closures, perhaps?

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