What Is the History of Jaguar in the UK?

Jaguar is a premium vehicle brand owned by Jaguar Land Rover, a British multinational automobile company headquartered in Whitley, Coventry, England. Jaguar Cars was the firm in charge of Jaguar automobile manufacture until its activities were entirely integrated with those of Land Rover to become Jaguar Land Rover on January 1, 2013.

A classic British icon, Jaguar is one of the world’s most famous car brands. In addition to holding several Royal Warrants, they also provide cars for the British Prime Minister.

Jaguar cars are known across the globe for their beautiful looks, exhilarating performance, elegant and comfortable interiors, exceptional handling and ride, superb engineering, and cutting-edge technology. No other automaker has been as phenomenally successful in making both the world’s best luxury sedans and some of the world’s most beloved sports cars.

From the Swallow Sidecar Company to the present day with Tata Motors, let’s explore the history of Jaguar.

1922: Swallow Sidecar Company

1922 Swallow Sidecar Company

Two motorcycle enthusiasts, William Lyons and William Walmsley, founded the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company. The Jaguar brand first appeared on a 2 ½ Litre saloon in 1935. The SS 2 ½ Litre sports saloon was their first vehicle. Another comparable design was the SS Jaguar 100, an open-air, two-seat sports automobile. Due to the negative connotations of the acronym SS, the entire firm was renamed Jaguar Cars Ltd following World War II.

After then, Jaguar established its name in the auto industry by producing popular sports cars like the XK120, XK140, XK150, and E-Type. Jaguar’s slogan was “Grace, Space, Speed,” and its MK VII, IX, MKs I and II, and XJ6 models all established sales records.

In 1951, Jaguar won the Le Mans 24-hour race. In 1953, they won once again.

1950: Daimler

Jaguar agreed to lease from the Ministry of Supply the Daimler Shadow 2 plant at Browns Lane, Allesley, Coventry, which was being utilized at the time by The Daimler Company Limited, and relocated from Foleshill over the next year.

Jaguar bought Daimler from BSA in 1960. Jaguar utilized the Daimler mark as a brand name for its most opulent saloons beginning in the late 1960s.

1965: Jaguar Merge with British Motor Corporation

Pressed Steel Company Limited made all Jaguar’s (monocoque) bodies leaving provision and installation of the mechanicals to Jaguar. British Motor Corporation (BMC), the Austin-Morris combination, purchased Pressed Steel in mid-1965. Lyons grew anxious about Jaguar’s future, partially because to the danger to continuous supplies of bodies, and partly due to his age and lack of a successor. As a result, he accepted BMC’s offer to combine with Jaguar. They subsequently established British Motor (Holdings) Limited. This occurred in 1965, and in 1966, the corporation changed its name to British Motor Holdings.

Jaguar and Leyland Motors

The government urged British Motor Holdings and Leyland Motor Corporation to unite. Leyland Motor produced buses, trucks, and Rover cars beginning in 1967. As a result of the merger, the British Leyland Motor Corporation was formed as a new holding company. This was introduced in 1968 but was unsuccessful. This was mostly the result of faulty board choices and the financial issues of the Austin-Morris division.

1984: Return to Independence

1984 Return to Independence

To establish its own track record, Jaguar was floated out as a separate business on the stock market in July 1984, as one of the Thatcher administration’s many privatisations.

This was largely attributed to Sir John Egan, who was appointed chairman in 1980. According to reports, Egan had resolved the primary obstacles stopping Jaguar from selling additional automobiles. These included quality control, inefficiency, and delayed delivery dates. As a cost-saving measure, one-third of staff were laid off, while price increases in the United States were concealed by the exchange rate. During this period, the Jaguar XJ underwent a major makeover and was renamed XJ40.

1989: Jaguar Became Part of Ford

In November 1989, Ford made proposals to Jaguar’s US and UK stockholders to purchase their shares; Jaguar was delisted from the London Stock Exchange on February 28, 1990. In 1999, it joined Ford’s new Premier Automotive Group alongside Aston Martin, Volvo Cars, and, beginning in 2000, Land Rover.

Jaguar extended its model line under Ford with the introduction of the S-Type in 1999 and the X-type in 2001. After PAG’s May 2000 acquisition of Land Rover from Ford, the brand became strongly identified with Jaguar. In many countries they had a common sales and distribution network (including dealerships), and several models shared components, but the sole shared production plant was Halewood Body & Assembly, which produced the technically comparable X-Type and Freelander 2. The two firms were effectively combined operationally under a unified management structure inside Ford’s PAG.

Ford declared their intention to sell Jaguar and Land Rover in 2007. The likes of Cerberus Capital Management and One Equity Partners, Ripplewood Holdings, and Tata Motors were quite interested.

2008: Tata Motors

Ford announced on January 1, 2008, that Tata Motors will acquire Jaguar from Ford. In March of the same year, it was revealed that Citigroup and JP Morgan would provide a $3 billion loan to finance this transaction.

Ford stated on March 26, 2008, that it has agreed to sell its Jaguar and Land Rover divisions to Tata Motors of India, with the acquisition likely to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2008. The rights to three additional British brands, including Jaguar’s own Daimler and two dormant names Lanchester and Rover, were included in the sale. The sale to Tata was completed on June 2, 2008, at a cost of £1.7 billion.

In 2008, Jaguar released the XF. It was intended to replace the S-Type as a midsize executive automobile. As part of the 2011 facelift, a diesel engine from the Land Rover Freelander was introduced to the XF lineup.

On 1 January 2013, the group, which had previously operated as two independent businesses (Jaguar Cars Limited and Land Rover) but on an integrated basis, underwent a substantial restructure. Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC was rebranded as the parent company, Jaguar Cars Limited was renamed as Jaguar Land Rover Limited, and the assets (except some Chinese holdings) of Land Rover were transferred to Jaguar Land Rover Limited. As a result, Jaguar Land Rover Limited assumed responsibility for the design, production, and marketing of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in the United Kingdom.

Finest Jaguar Cars

Jaguar C-Type

Jaguar C-Type

The C-Type has been one of the most significant automobiles in terms of shaping the current state of the automotive industry. Produced between 1951 and 1953, the automobile twice won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1951 and 1953.

Jaguar D-Type

It is one of the most recognizable designs of all time and one of the first automobiles to really employ aerodynamics to increase performance and stability.

Jaguar E-Type

Jaguar E-Type

The Jaguar Eagle E-Type is generally recognized as one of the most significant and attractive sports vehicles ever produced. The E-Type’s peak speed of 150 mph (241 km/h), sub-7-second 0-60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration, unitary construction, disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, and independent front and rear suspension characterized the automobile and influenced industry improvements.

Jaguar XJS TWR

The XJS rapidly became a competitive and dominating racing vehicle with cars produced by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. With up to 450 horsepower, the vehicle was utilized to great success in the European Touring Car Championship, where it won its debut race.

Jaguar XJ220

The XJ220 supercar, another major vehicle in Jaguar’s history, is still a legend today. The XJ220 received technology developed from Jaguar’s successful Group C campaign in international sports cars and at Le Mans at the time. Powered by a 3.5-liter twin Garrett turbocharged engine, the XJ220 generated 540 horsepower and could reach 60 miles per hour in in 3.6 seconds.

Jaguar Project 7

The Project 7 served as the official launch pad for Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations division. With 567bhp, it was Jaguar’s most powerful vehicle to date. The automobile exists as a tribute to legendary Jaguars from the past. The automobile has significantly improved aerodynamics, including a rear stabilizing fin direct from the D-Type.

Royal Warrants

The first of Jaguar’s three Royal Warrants was granted by King George VI in 1951. In addition, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales have granted them Royal Warrants.

In 2015, they also got the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development for their efforts to reduce their environmental effect.

The Jaguar Today

Jaguar now offers a variety of vehicles, including sedans and SUVs. Jaguar is continuing to produce automobiles that are at the top of their class. Jaguar, while having had some difficult times in the past, are moving from strength to strength and yet maintain their distinctly British identity.