On this day in auto history – March 2nd

Tue 2nd Mar 2021

It was on this day in 1986 that hundreds of patriotic Land Rover stalwarts occupied Hyde Park to protest over Margaret Thatcher’s plan to sell off the company to American giants General Motors or simply “the Americans” as dubbed by the media at the time.

Then under the state-run British Leyland umbrella, Land Rover was identified by the Thatcher government as ripe for selling but - as the Hyde Park protests proved - they had underestimated the patriotic fervour surrounding the brand.

Other protests followed and soon a “Keep Land Rover British” campaign had sprung up, eventually resulting in a government climbdown before the newly-named 'Rover Group’ (incorporating Land Rover) was later sold to British Aerospace in 1988.

Following a spell under BMW’s ownership, Land Rover did eventually end up in American hands when acquired by Ford in 2000 before being sold on to Indian giants Tata in 2008 where it now forms part of the Jaguar Land Rover company.