Land Rover is receiving a £27 million government grant to help develop the new LRX baby Range Rover, it has been announced this morning.
The firm has confirmed that the radical three-door concept will be developed into a five-door mini-Range Rover; it is likely to start taking orders for the car in late 2010.
But it has also emerged that taxpayers will be investing £27m in the project, as part of a deal to guarantee that the model will eventually be built at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood plant, currently home to the Freelander. The decision makes sense for Land Rover, since the production LRX is expected to share many of its parts with the Freelander.
Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said, "The LRX project would secure production and employment at the Halewood facility and maintain the design capability for Jaguar Land Rover in the UK. This is an important investment for the future and we are delighted to be able to offer this grant support."
Land Rover boss Phil Popham told Autocar, "It is a significant grant and we welcome the support. It illustrates that we are focused on the long term."