Jaguar Land Rover acquires all-terrain performance specialist Bowler

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08 January 2020
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The UK-based manufacturer of all-terrain performance cars, parts and rally raid vehicles has been bought by JLR Special Vehicle Operations

Founded in 1985, Bowler pioneered the production of dedicated off-road competition cars and has enjoyed much success in international rally raid events over the years. The expertise Bowler has amassed for all-terrain vehicle dynamics, low-volume production techniques and extreme durability, is highly sought-after, so it’s no surprise that Jaguar Land Rover jumped at the opportunity to save it from administration and secure the future of the Bowler brand.

Not only that, but Bowler has had a close affiliation with Land Rover, which was formalised with a brand partnership in 2012 that led to the creation of the popular Defender Challenge by Bowler rally series in 2014-2016. With JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division adding Bowler to its portfolio of automotive businesses, the Derbyshire-based all-terrain performance specialist perfectly complements the existing SV, Vehicle Personalisation and Classic divisions.

Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said: “For almost 35 years the Bowler name has stood for innovation and success, with a reputation forged by its participation in the world’s toughest off-road motorsport competitions. We are all eager to start working with our new colleagues at Bowler, adding to the team’s skills and experience to create an exciting and diverse portfolio of products and businesses within Special Vehicle Operations.

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”The news will be seen by many as a shrewd move from JLR given its objection to Land Rover tuning and styling firms taking business away from the brand – Gerry McGovern famously said in 2017 that SVO was “going to put them out of business”. No doubt keen to capitalise on Bowler’s terrain and rally expertise, we expect to see the Bowler name used on its models as extreme, off-road variants.

While the Bowler business is now fully owned by JLR, Bowler will continue to operate from its premises in Belper for the foreseeable future. To contact Bowler call 01773 824111 or email [email protected]

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