In 1956 a Spanish company by the name of Metalurgica de Santa Ana SA, originally formed to produce agricultural machinery, reached an agreement the Rover Company to manufacture Land Rovers under licence.
Although initial production was in relatively small numbers, due to their export activity into Spanish territories, South America, the Middle East and Africa production increased until by 1980 Santana had built up a distribution network into 25 countries and had shipped over 50,000 vehicles overseas.
In addition to producing complete vehicles, transmission components and engines were also manufactured in this plant, which at one time was sending 200 engines a week back to Solihull!
Santana were also responsible for designing & manufacturing the renown LT85 gearbox which has found its way into many Land Rover products.
Many variants of Land Rover were produced by Santana that never found their way into the UK this 1967 Santana Land Rover 1300 being one of the first, followed by the Santana 1-ton military in 1969.
Small enough to react quickly to the market place and enthusiastic enough to want to achieve it, many new and innovative models have subsequently appeared including the Santana 2000 forward control.
In some instances it would be many years before Solihull followed Santana's lead with new ideas, look at the Special station wagon from 1970 with its one piece windscreen and flush front panel.
However by the late1980s this partnership with Land Rover had faltered and a new agreement entered into with an emerging Japanese motor vehicle company, Suzuki.
This continues to-day with Santana producing many of the Suzuki vehicles sold into the UK.
Following a period of restructuring in the late 1990s Santana decided that it would be wiser not to rely 100% on the production of product bearing another manufactures name and set to using their vast experience to design their own range of tough, hard working 4x4 vehicles.
Thus the PS10 station wagon now available in the U.K. is the result of more than 45 years experience in the manufacture and marketing of hundreds of thousands of 4wd utility vehicles.
The new Santana was designated PS-10 and presented as 'Hannibal' but due to obvious reasons it is now officially named PS-10.
The PS-10 is in many aspects still the same as the Santana 2500 but a lot of details are changed. One of the most interesting changes is the replacement of the heavy 6 cyl diesel for the lighter, more economic, IVECO 3.0 l common rail 4 cyl. engine. This engine is fitted to a complete new ZF 6 speed manual main gearbox + LT230 4x2/4x4 transfer box. Power steering is a standard feature.
The vehicle is still leaf sprung, to retain the simple and robust Land Rover suspension features however due to our efforts to market parabolic suspension systems it is now fitted out with parabolic suspension for the European market.
Also different is the one piece body, which is a mixture of steel 'cage structure' and aluminum body panels. The whole body is mounted onto the sturdy, box section, chassis frame using 'silent blocs'.