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Launching the Freelander next month is expected to quadruple Land Rover Japan’s 2001 sales figures to 4,500 units.

The Japanese-specification Freelander will have a 2.5-litre V6 engine and automatic transmission, similar to the U.S. model due to go on sale later this year. The lack of an automatic gearbox option until a recent model change has kept the Freelander out of the world’s two largest markets where the majority of cars sold have self-shifting transmissions.

The Japanese sales boost will help Land Rover’s plan to increase global sales to 250,000 from the current 170,000.

Land Rover Japan will support dealers with a sales programme to retail 100 vehicles at each outlet (currently 48 dealers with 78 locations) and is also to strengthen a marketing and after sales support alliance with General Motors in an effort to reduce costs.