Land Rover, Ford’s UK-based manufacturer of 4×4 vehicles, has started production of North American specification Freelanders. Sales start in the USA and Canada in December.

This 2.5 litre V6 version of the Freelander, introduced in Europe in September 2000, will become the third Land Rover product to be sold in North America, complementing the Discovery and Range Rover models already available.

Almost 250,000 Freelanders have been assembled in the purpose built 9.5-acre facility at Land Rover’s Solihull plant. With over 60,000 units sold worldwide in its first year – 1997 – the Freelander established itself as Land Rover’s most popular product. Sales last year topped 70,000.

Land Rover Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bob Dover, commented: “Launching the Freelander into North America is a very significant move. It will virtually double our volume in North America, making it Land Rover’s biggest single market world-wide, overtaking the UK.”

Land Rover spokeswoman Judith Maiden told just-auto that Freelander production has been upped from 1,750 units per week to 1,950 per week. An  extra 150 workers were added to the payroll in the summer to meet higher production needs. 


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