Solihull, West Midlands - Land Rover today passed a historic milestone when the four millionth vehicle rolled off the production line, 59 years after production began at the company's factory in Solihull.
The car, a Discovery 3 (LR3 in the USA), was donated to the Born Free Foundation, a charity dedicated to wildlife conservation and animal welfare. It was collected by the actress Joanna Lumley, Born Free’s Founder patron, and will become a ‘Rapid Response Rescue’ vehicle for deployment across the UK and Europe.
Will Travers, Born Free chief executive, said, "This important vehicle will enable us to carry out important frontline conservation and animal welfare missions at will. Without Land Rover’s support we simply would not be able to reach some of the off-road remote destinations or tackle some of the rescues that are a vital part of our work.”
This summer is likely to see the Born Free Rapid Response Rescue Discovery 3 extensively used by Born Free’s partner, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, rescuing, treating and releasing stranded or abandoned marine mammals, especially Common and Grey seals, who frequently get into trouble along Britain’s shores during the breeding season.
Born Free has been one of Land Rover’s Global Sponsorship Partners since 2002. The sponsorship includes financial and vehicle support in the UK, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. In 2006 Land Rover’s support contributed to the rescue and relocation of three lions from a circus in France to Shamwari in South Africa.
Land Rover has pioneered responsible off-roading through its ‘Fragile Earth’ policy for many years and currently works with Earthwatch, Royal Geographical Society (RGS), China Exploration and Research Society (CERS), and Biosphere Expeditions.
Land Rover helps sustain over 50,000 jobs and exports 78% of all production, generating substantial wealth for Britain. Since the production of the 3 millionth Land Rover in 2001, an average of 700 cars have rolled off the production lines per day.
Phil Popham, managing director of Land Rover, said, “We are delighted to hand this car over to Born Free. The production of the four millionth Land Rover is a major milestone and it is only fitting that it goes to such a worthy cause. I'm proud of our support for the charity and the company's contribution to both the local and national economy over the past 59 years."
Note to editors: 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 and Range Rover Sport each define the world's 4x4 sectors, with 78% of this model range exported to over 147 countries. Land Rover employs 9,500 people and supports a further 40,000 jobs in the supply chain.
About Born Free The Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare. Born Free takes action worldwide to protect threatened species and stop individual animal suffering. Born Free believes wildlife belongs in the wild and works to phase out zoos. We rescue animals from lives of misery in tiny cages and give them lifetime care. Born Free protects lions, elephants, tigers, gorillas, wolves, polar bears, dolphins, marine turtles and much more in their natural habitat, working with local communities to help people and wildlife live together without conflict. Our high-profile campaigns change public attitudes, persuade decision-makers and get results. Every year, Born Free helps hundreds of thousands of animals worldwide.