Not everyone is convinced the news of the day will get folks rushing to Land Rover showrooms. "It probably would have been more noteworthy and influential if it wasn't a British brand," contended Stephanie Brinley, auto analyst with IHS Automotive.
In fact, it isn't. Well, not precisely, noted Laura Ries, president of the Atlanta-based marketing consultancy Ries & Ries. "It's a bit of an irony," she said with a laugh, that Land Rover is now owned by the India's Tata Motors which purchased the SUV manufacturer from Ford in 2008.
It's a case of the empire striking back, and "speaks to the time and day we live in," explained Ries, "where great brands are no longer based in the country they started in."
But for most viewers—and potential customers—Land Rover remains British at heart and its most exclusive model, the Range Rover, continues to be built in Britain.
In fact, an all-new version of the big SUV was just launched for the 2013 model year. The prince's vehicle was loaded up with even more luxury accouterments that can push the price tag of the top-line Autobiography edition into the $150,000 range.
At the same time, the maker shaved as much as 900 pounds of mass from the vehicle by shifting to a lighter aluminum body and frame.
"We had a huge responsibility to protect the DNA of this icon," explained Land Rover's design chief, Gerry McGovern.
After all, not many car brands get the opportunity to provide the first ride to a future king of England.