The Jaguar Car
Jaguar Cars Limited is a British luxury car manufacturer, with
headquarters in Browns Lane, Coventry, England. It was founded as
SS Cars Ltd in 1922 and changed its name to Jaguar in 1945. The
company has been owned by Ford since 1990. Jaguar also has an
engineering division in Whitley, Coventry.
Founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, by two motorcycle
enthusiasts, William Lyons and William Walmsley, the Jaguar name first
appeared on a 2.5 Litre saloon in 1935. This name was given to the
entire company when SS Cars Ltd was renamed Jaguar Cars Ltd after
World War II because of the unfavourable connotations of the initials
"SS" (from their use by the Schutzstaffel in Nazi Germany).
Jaguar merged with the British Motor Corporation (BMC), the Austin-
Morris combine, to form British Motor Holdings (BMH) in 1966. After
merger with Leyland and Rover, the resultant company then became
British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) in 1968. Financial difficulties
and the publication of the Ryder Report led to effective nationalisation
in 1975 and the company became British Leyland Ltd (BL).
In 1984, Jaguar was floated off as a separate company on the stock
market - one of the Thatcher government's many privatisations. It took
the Vanden Plas name with it. It was then taken over by Ford in 1989-
1990. In 1999 it was made part of Ford's new Premier Automotive
Group along with Aston Martin and Volvo Cars. Land Rover was added
to the group in 2001 following its purchase from BMW. Recent reports
speculate that Ford might sell off Jaguar in order to infuse much
needed capital into its own operations. Since Ford purchased Jaguar in
1989 it has yet to earn a profit for the Dearborn-based automaker.
The company was originally located in Blackpool but moved to
Coventry in 1928 to be at the heart of the British motor industry. Today,
Jaguars are assembled at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham and
Halewood in Liverpool. The historic Browns Lane plant closed as a
vehicle assembly plant in 2005 leaving the XJ, XK and S-Type
production at Castle Bromwich and the X-Type at Halewood.
Jaguar also owns the Daimler car company (not to be confused with
Daimler-Benz), which it bought in 1960 from Birmingham Small Arms
Company (BSA). Since the late 1960s, Daimler has been a brand name
for Jaguar's most luxurious saloons.
Since Land Rover's 2002 purchase by Ford, it has been closely
associated with Jaguar. In many countries they share a common sales
and distribution network (including shared dealerships), and some
models now share components and production facilities.
Jaguar Cars are 'by appointment' to HM The Queen and Prince Charles.
Jaguar Heaven © 2004