Ford Motor Company has officially acquired Land Rover, the world’s best-known name in 4×4 vehicles. Ford took over ownership of the British company on July 1, from the BMW Group.

Commenting on the acquisition, Land Rover’s new chairman and chief executive officer Bob Dover said: “We are very pleased and proud to have acquired such a famous and distinguished vehicle maker. We are aware of the company’s heritage and proud tradition, and will maintain and enhance that reputation.”

Land Rover becomes a member of Ford Motor Company’s Premier Automotive Group, joining Jaguar, Aston Martin, Volvo and Lincoln. Its chairman is Dr Wolfgang Reitzle.

Mr Dover, 55, has worked in the British motor industry for 32 years. He has a background in engineering and manufacturing and, from 1984 to 1987, served as director of manufacturing for Land Rover.

Speaking at his first press conference since his new Land Rover appointment, Mr Dover pledged the new management team’s commitment to Solihull as a manufacturing and assembly centre, and to Gaydon as the company’s design and engineering base. Gaydon will also become the new corporate headquarters for Land Rover. The Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon also forms part of the acquisition.

“I recognise the tremendous uncertainty that has been felt by all our employees and their families recently,” said Mr Dover. “I hope we can now put the last few difficult months behind us. In the years ahead, the Land Rover management team intend to build a company where all employees are valued and respected, and where we can all be proud to say: ‘We work for Land Rover.’

“There are, however, many challenges ahead. We must further improve customer satisfaction and get the company back to profitability. We will become profitable by growing the business through rising sales, and by careful cost management.”