Car News

Land Rover invests in new off-road performance arm Bowler

Bowler has been acquired by JLR, giving the British carmaker a new arm to build performance off-roaders.

JAGUAR LAND ROVER has acquired bespoke off-road performance and rally racing car builders, Bowler.

The Derbyshire-based group is now wholly owned by JLR and will sit underneath its Special Vehicle Operations division. The British conglomerate’s equivalent to Mercedes’ AMG or BMW’s M Division, SVO operates the existing ‘SV’, ‘Classic’, and ‘Vehicle Personalisation’ departments and has created high-performance ‘SVR’  versions of the Ranger Rover Sport and Jaguar F-Type.

It’s unclear exactly how it will integrate Bowler, but the small car builder has been designing and making ‘Rally Raid’ cars and off-road performance vehicles based on cars like the Land Rover Defender since 1965, and more recently, built extreme off-road Range Rover Sport SUVs. According to JLR’s press release, Bowler will bring the group “expertise in all-terrain vehicle dynamics, low-volume production techniques and extreme durability to Jaguar Land Rover.”

JLR Bowler merger

JLR Special Vehicle Operations managing director, Michael Van der Sande, added that there was no plan to relocate or bring major changes to Bowler and its staff.

“Our immediate focus is on ensuring continuity of support for Bowler employees and customers during this transition to Jaguar Land Rover,” he 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. It’s exciting that we’re now in a position to participate in and lead the Bowler brand’s future as part of Jaguar Land Rover.

“At Special Vehicle Operations we are all eager to start working with our new colleagues at Bowler. Adding the Bowler team’s skills and experience to those of SV, Vehicle Personalisation and Classic is a key step in our strategy to create an exciting and diverse portfolio of products and businesses within Special Vehicle Operations.”

Bowler's Land Rover Defender

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae