Halewood, Merseyside, Tuesday 8 April 2008 – Employees at Halewood Operations on Merseyside are celebrating after producing the 100,000th Land Rover Freelander 2. The milestone vehicle has been built just 17 months after production started at Halewood.
Freelander 2 was launched in late 2006 and last year was the first full year of sales. 2007 saw the all-new model prove hugely popular across the world, particularly in key emerging markets such as Russia, China and the Middle East.
The 100,000th car, a Rimini Red 2.2 Diesel Auto, is now en route to a customer in the city of Surgut, located on Russia’s Central Siberian Plateau. Sales of Land Rover vehicles are booming in Russia – over 12,000 units were sold there last year, an increase of 95 per cent over 2006.
Freelander 2 is engineered to perform in the most extreme weather conditions from minus 40 to plus 50 degrees Celsius and, like all Land Rover products, has a true breadth of capability. This makes it perfectly suited to the Russian market, which is one of the most diverse and challenging environments in the world with driving conditions ranging from extreme desert heat to freezing snow and ice. Russian Freelander 2’s have special Fuel Fire Heaters fitted which heat the diesel fuel up to prime the engine during winter months.
Thomas Klein, Operations Director at Halewood said: “The 100,000th Freelander is an important milestone for the plant – Freelander 2 helped Land Rover achieve its best ever sales year in 2007 and has won several major awards in its first twelve months in the market place. Freelander is continuing to perform well in traditional Land Rover markets such as the UK but sales in emerging areas like Russia and China are also growing rapidly so it’s entirely fitting that this car is destined for a customer in Siberia. I’d like to congratulate the Halewood workforce on this fantastic team achievement.”
Dmitry Kolchanov, Managing Director of Land Rover Russia added: “We are pleased by the way the Land Rover business is developing here. Russia is now Land Rover’s third largest market, after the UK and USA, which is a significant achievement. The crucial selling point for Freelander 2 is that it is the authentic compact premium 4×4 and excels off-road. At the same time, Freelander 2 is excellent on-road and is perfectly suited to a city where its premium styling attracts a great deal of attention.”
Land Rover recently launched Freelander 2 HST the Freelander 2 Commercial derivative in the UK.
Freelander 2 has won over 10 international industry awards since launch including the What Car? Compact 4X4 of the Year Award, Top Gear ‘SUV of the Year’ and ‘Best Small 4×4’ at the Business Car awards.
About Land Rover – Since 1948 Land Rover has been manufacturing authentic 4x4s that represent true ‘breadth of capability’ across the model range. Defender, Freelander 2, Discovery 3, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover each define the world’s 4×4 sectors, with 78% of this model range exported to over 140 countries. Land Rover employs 8,500 people and supports a further 40,000 jobs in the supply chain.
Land Rover takes its responsibility to the environment seriously. Emissions have been cut with all new models and, together with Jaguar; it is investing £700m on technology specifically aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Also, since September 2006, carbon dioxide generated by Land Rover manufacturing activities and UK customer vehicle use has been balanced through an industry leading offset programme run by Climate Care.