History of Jaguar
Founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in September 1922 by young motorcycle
enthusiast Bill Lyons and William Walmsley, Jaguar originally focused their
efforts on producing motorcycle sidecars. In late 1926, the company began to
diversify by taking existing cars and updating them with a more
contemporary exterior, followed by the production of affordable cars with a
luxurious look. It was not until 1935 that the SS Jaguar name appeared, with
the company later dropping the 'SS' to avoid association with the German SS
After World War II, Jaguar made their name with a number of elegant,
reliable and powerful luxury saloons and sports cars. The Jaguar MK I,
introduced at the 1955 Motor Show, appealed to the fashionable home market
and the following model, the MK II proved to be extremely successful and
even influenced later models such as the Jaguar S-Type.
In 1951, the business leased space at Brown's Lane plant from The Daimler
Motor Company Ltd, which would later become its main plant. The company
would go on to purchase Daimler in 1960.
In 1966, Jaguar merged with the British Motor Corporation to form British
Motor Holdings, which would two years later merge with Leyland to create the
British Leyland Motor Corporation. This created the largest car complex in Britain.
However, in 1984 Jaguar was made a separate company on the stock market as
part of the government's privatisation schemes.
The Ford Motor Company made a number of offers to purchase shares of Jaguar
in 1989 and in 1999 Jaguar became part of Ford's new Primer Automotive Group,
alongside Volvo, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Under this new ownership, the
company created the massively popular model, the Jaguar S-Type. On the 26th
March 2008, Ford sold its Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) operations to Tata
Motors of India for £1.7 billion who have recently seen a significant
turnaround and increased profit margin.