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LAND ROVER TO LAUNCH DISCOVERY IN APRIL; FAMILY SPORT UTILITY TO BE FIRST WITH DUAL AIR BAGS

 DETROIT, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Land Rover North America, Inc. will launch the first compact sport utility vehicle to have standard dual front air bags and anti-lock brakes. Called Discovery, the five-door vehicle will join the Range Rover and Defender 90 to give the British manufacturer a three-model line-up in North America.
 Charles R. Hughes, president, Land Rover North America, Inc., told a news conference at the North American International Automobile Show that Discovery will have traditional Land Rover construction hallmarks such as aluminum body panels and permanent four-wheel drive along with the roomiest interior in its class and seating capacity for up to seven people.
 He said Discovery will be launched in April 1994 with a 182h,? fuel- injected 3.9 liter engine and manual five-speed transmission for "well under $30,000." A four-speed automatic transmission is optional.
 DEFENDER 90 IS 'FOUR WHEELER OF THE YEAR'
 Along with the announcement of Discovery, the company was honored by Four Wheeler magazine for its Defender 90 soft-top utility vehicle which was launched last October. John Stewart, editor of Four Wheeler magazine, presented an award to Mr. Hughes naming Defender 90 as the "Four Wheeler of the Year." Stewart wrote: "The Defender 90 is unquestionably the best four-wheeler we've ever driven, from any factory anywhere right out of the box."
 The only V-8 powered, open-air 4 X 4 available in North America, Defender 90 was also named one of Popular Science magazine's "100 Best New Products for 1993."
 Combined sales of Defender, and its luxury stablemate the Range Rover, set a new North American record in 1993. A total of 4,907 vehicles were sold for an increase of 16 percent over the 1992 total of 4,234 units. The Canadian Land Rover subsidiary also enjoyed a 50.3- percent increase in sales for its best-ever result.
 "Our people have worked hard on these products. We're grateful for the recognition in the press and by the buying public," said Hughes. "We are looking forward to moving into the mainstream of the sport utility segment with Discovery and think American families will respond quite favorably to its safety features, roominess and versatility."
 LAND ROVER CENTRES
 As part of its growth in the U.S., Hughes said, "Land Rover will establish a new form of retail outlet called Land Rover Centres which will exclusively offer its line of premium four-wheel drive vehicles with sales expertise, parts and service backup unmatched in this segment of the market."
 "Land Rover Centres will be a 'must' on the shopping list of any four-wheel drive shopper," he added.
 Twelve Land Rover Centres will be built by mid-1994 by some of the current 84 U.S. dealers and will be modeled after similar operations successfully developed in the United Kingdom.
 Land Rover North America, Inc. imports vehicles manufactured by Land Rover in Solihull, England and is a member of Rover Group Ltd.
 NOTE: Land Rover vehicles are not subject to the 10-percent luxury tax.
 -0- 1/4/94
 /CONTACT: Bill Baker or Jeff Curry, 301-731-9041, or Glenn Campbell, 818-799-0877, all of Land Rover/


CO: Land Rover North America, Inc. ST: Maryland, Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT

KE-RD -- DE016 -- 8999 01/04/94 15:30 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 4, 1994
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