Land Rover has built its one millionth Discovery at its Solihull plant – and the model is to embark on an 8000-mile expedition from Birmingham to Beijing on a special fundraising mission.
The 50-day, 13-country trip aims to raise £1million for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The landmark Discovery will arrive in China ahead of the Beijing motor show in April, a significant show for Land Rover given its rapid rise in popularity there.
The journey will take in all terrains and follows in the footsteps of the 1955 ' First Overland Expedition', where a team of Land Rover engineers drove a Defender from Birmingham to Beijing. The 2012 journey is called ‘Journey of Discovery’, and Land Rover brought along famous explores including Bear Grylls, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ray Mears to help launch the journey.
The one millionth Discovery comes 23 years after the first model was built. Its success is still growing; last year was a record one for the Discovery as Land Rover sold 45,000 units in 170 worldwide markets.
Its success of the Discovery, as well as the Range Rover and Ranger Rover Sport, means Land Rover is in the process of recruiting an extra 1000 new staff at Solihull over the next six months, boosting its workforce to 6000.
"Many people are involved in the production of the Discovery, and many have been here for the whole journey, from car number one to car number one million,” said Alan Volkaerts, operations director at Solihull Operations. “I'd like to take this opportunity to thank every one of them. They have done a brilliant job, and have displayed great dedication and service. These are the men and women who have made the Discovery the success story it is today.”