The Journey of Discovery, which is the largest modern-day overland expedition of Land Rover, got to the finish line with the one millionth Discovery unit arriving in time to make an appearance at the Beijing Motor Show. The Journey saw four automobiles travel at least 10,000 miles from Birmingham to Beijing.
It aims to raise £1million (GBP) for the automaker's Global Humanitarian Partner, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). On February 29, the Journey started at the Solihull manufacturing facility where the one millionth Discovery was assembled.
Since the unit's formal dispatch at the Geneva Motor Show, it has passed through 13 nations across taxing terrain which ranges from snow-capped paths in the Alps to sun-baked sand dunes in the Taklimakan Desert. Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards commented that this has been an "epic journey" between two of the largest events on the "automotive calendar."
He also said that as they expected, it has subjected the Land Rover to "virtually every condition" that it is designed to withstand. The journey has been a very significant one for the automaker, with a landmark automobile taken from its birthplace to one of the automaker's fastest growing markets and demonstrating it in all terrains, he added.
Edwards further stated that they are "delighted" to see the Journey reach its physical target in Beijing and for the response to the fundraising cause. They will continue to push to reach or exceed their target right until the end of May, Edwards further stated. He shared that the Journey of Discovery has been "all about discovering the stories" of places and people along its path.
Specifically, the Journey joined the Aosta Valley avalanche team in Italy. It visited the Chernobyl reactor and traveled through a secret Soviet submarine base in the Ukraine. It also explored the exclusive inner portions of the Kremlin, placed some classic Soviet automobiles to test and toured Moscow with a Bolshoi ballet dancer in Russia.
Moreover, it drove through the wilderness of the Kazakhstan desert, met a group of fishermen in the near-dry Aral Sea in Uzbekistan and journeyed along the silk and spice routes into China, where the last leg involved driving on sand dunes, exploring the Great Wall and touring on a sheepskin raft.