Jaguar Cars holds Royal Warrants from HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Charles.
Founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, by two motorcycle enthusiasts, William Lyons and William Walmsley, the SS Jaguar name first appeared on a 2.5 litre saloon in 1935. The Jaguar name was given to the entire company in 1945 when the SS was dropped due to lack of popularity from WWII.
Jaguar made its name in the 1950s with a series of elegantly-styled sports cars and luxury saloons. The company bought the Daimler Motor Company (not to be confused with Daimler-Benz), in 1960 from Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA). From the late 1960s, Daimler was used as a brand name for Jaguar's most luxurious saloons.
Mergers and nationalisation
Jaguar merged with the British Motor Corporation (BMC), the Austin-Morris combine, to form British Motor Holdings (BMH) in 1966. After merging with Leyland, which had already taken over Rover and Standard Triumph, the resultant company then became the 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 (later simply BL plc).
In the 1970s the Jaguar and Daimler marques formed part of BL's specialist car division or Jaguar Rover Triumph Ltd until a restructure in the early 1980s saw most of the BL volume car manufacturing side becoming the Austin Rover Group within which Jaguar was not included.
In 1984, Jaguar was floated off as a separate company on the stock market — one of the Thatcher government's many privatisations.
Purchase by Ford
The Ford Motor Company made an offer to purchase the company in September 1989 which was adapted at an Extraordinary General Meeting in January 1990 and Jaguar was removed from the London Stock Exchange listings on 28 February 1990. In 1999 it became part of Ford's new Premier Automotive Group along with Aston Martin, Volvo Cars and, from 2000, Land Rover; Aston Martin was subsequently sold off in 2007. Between Ford purchasing Jaguar in 1989 and selling it in 2008 it did not earn any profit for the Dearborn-based auto manufacturer.