Birmingham & Black Country

Land Rover Discovery milestone celebrated at Solihull plant

The one millionth Land Rover Discovery has been produced at the company's plant in Solihull in the West Midlands.

A reception for staff and explorers was held there, with the vehicle starting a 50-day expedition to China to celebrate the milestone.

It aims to raise £1m for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support a water sanitation project in Uganda.

Land Rover introduced its original Discovery model in 1989.

'Fastest growing markets'

The company said it "stands as an excellent example of UK design, engineering and manufacturing" with 83% of production being exported from the West Midlands.

About 6,000 people are employed at the firm's Solihull facility.

Image caption Bear Grylls said the vehicle was 'synonymous' with adventure

Adventurers Bear Grylls, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ben Saunders were among those at the launch of the expedition, in which four Discovery vehicles will go through more than a dozen countries.

Bear Grylls told BBC News at the reception: "I think it's a car that's totally synonymous with adventure and you need kit you can rely on out there and you've definitely got that with a Land Rover."

The Discovery will reach Beijing in China, described as one of Land Rover's "fastest growing markets" by the firm.

Plans to build a £350m Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) facility near Wolverhampton were given the go-ahead by South Staffordshire Council in December.

JLR has said it was creating up to 750 jobs at the site at the i54 business park near the M54 on the Staffordshire-Wolverhampton border.

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