Jaguar, also known as Jaguar Cars Ltd, is a luxury sports car manufacturer headquartered in Whitley, Coventry, England. It was originally founded as Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922 by Sir William Lyons. It wasn’t until 1945 that the name was changed to Jaguar Car Limited. The company was initially a manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars and only later manufactured automobiles. The company really made its name when it produced several cars throughout the 50s and 60s that were successful in international races. Despite its decidedly sporting heritage, the company was set on producing luxury sporting saloon cars, not simply sports cars.
The company has changed ownership several times since its founding in 1922. Notable mergers and acquisitions include British Leyland in 1968, Ford Motor Company in 1989, and the current owner, Tata Motors in 2008.
5 remarkable things about Jaguar
- The company holds several royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth II which allows the company to advertise the fact that they supply vehicles to the royal family in England. Royal warrants add prestige to companies that have them because they carry the blessing of the royal family.
- The company changed its name from Swallow Sidecar Company to Jaguar after World War II. It is thought that the change was made to avoid any association with the infamous German SS units.
- Jaguar was owned by Ford’s Premier Automotive Group between 1989 and 2008. During this time, Ford also owned Land Rover and the two companies became very closely associated. Many vehicles from both companies share components, including engines and power trains.
- The current parent company of Jaguar is Jaguar Land Rover PLC, which also owns the Land Rover brand of automobiles. Many automotive dealers that offer Jaguars cars also offer Land Rover vehicles.
- Finally, you may not know that Jaguar produced the world’s fastest production car at the time in 1992. The Jaguar XJ220 was capable of 217 miles-per-hour and was the record holder until 1994 when the McLaren F1 bested it. Another interesting thing about the XJ220 is that it is not road legal in the United States and can only be imported into the United States under the “Show and Display” exemption.
Popular Jaguar Models
There have been many Jaguars over the decades, but Jaguar currently produces only three models. The Jaguar XF was introduced in 2008 as a replacement to the S-Type. In its introductory year, the XF won many awards for its outstanding design and engineering. The Jaguar XJ was redesigned in 2009, but has been a model since 1968. The latest model is a drastic change from previous years and shows Jaguar’s desire to appeal to a younger demographic. The XK model replaced the XK8 model in 2006. It is Jaguar’s only two door offering and is also available as a convertible.