It has already begun recruiting and plans to have personnel in place by the New Year.
Initially the team will comprise a field force of up to four, reporting to the corporate sales manager, with the option of further recruitment later to cover all nine sales regions across the UK.
It means that sales director Bob Grace has been able to persuade UK managing director John Edwards to endorse a push to get the Freelander on to fleet choice lists, with the particular aim of targeting fleets running between 25 and 250 vehicles.
Mr Edwards said: “Fleet has not been a major area of focus for us in the past but we are now taking it more seriously because there is an opportunity here for us with the new Freelander.”
He admitted that fleet is an area Land Rover has neglected in the past, but said it now had a car that would be attractive to fleets as an alternative to upper-medium sector models.
The Freelander will become even more attractive to fleets in 2009 when Land Rover introduces a stop-start system to boost fuel economy and lower emissions.
The system, which will be fitted as standard to all diesel-engined manual Freelanders, turns off the engine when the vehicle is stationary and automatically starts it up when the clutch is depressed.
Land Rover claims that the system reduces CO2 emissions from the current car’s 194g/km to 179, and boosts fuel economy by 10% – meaning the Freelander TD4 will return 41.5mpg on the combined cycle.
Mr Edwards also revealed that sales will top 50,000 in the UK this year, and that the 130-strong dealer network was the third most profitable car network in the country.
Ford is currently seeking buyers for Land Rover and its sister company Jaguar.