Gaydon, Warwickshire, 21 April, 2001 — Land Rover has been granted two Queen's Awards for Enterprise – for International Trade and for Innovation. The Queen's Award is an accolade granted to companies by royal permission and is conferred on the Queen's birthday. Receipt of the awards will allow Land Rover to use the emblem for the next five years. Land Rover's heritage goes back to the launch of its first vehicle in 1948. Land Rover is the world's only company producing exclusively full-time 4×4 off-road vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people in the Midlands. Land Rovers are manufactured in Solihull and the company's corporate headquarters, engineering and design facilities, are at Gaydon in Warwickshire. The Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade rewards the company's continuous expansion across the globe. Land Rover, which was purchased by Ford Motor Company in July 2000, exports around 77% of production to more than 140 markets worldwide. In the last five years, exports have more than doubled, to £2.48 billion. The Queen's Award for Enterprise for Innovation recognises the revolutionary Hill Descent Control on the Land Rover Freelander and Discovery. This system automatically slows vehicles on steep off-road descents improving safety and control. Hill Descent Control continues Land Rover's long history of technical innovation in 4×4 vehicle design. Bob Dover, chairman and chief executive officer of Land Rover, said: 'I am delighted to receive the news that Land Rover has been granted the Queen's Award for Enterprise for both International Trade and for Innovation. I can think of no greater way of recognising the efforts of everyone at Land Rover, in leading the world in 4×4 technology.' Land Rover's production was more than 170,000 units last year and levels are set to increase significantly over the next five years. Key growth markets for the future include Japan and North America, where the new Freelander V6 is launched later this year. Since the acquisition by Ford Motor Company, Land Rover has invested heavily in the Solihull site, with £130 million earmarked by the end of this year.