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Jaguar Cars Limited
Type Private Limited Company
Founded 4 September 1922 (as Swallow Sidecar Company)
Founder(s) Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley
Headquarters Coventry, England, Great Britain
Key people Ratan Tata, Chairman
David Smith, CEO
Mike O'Driscoll, Managing Director
Industry Automotive
Products Automobiles
Owner(s) Tata Motors, 2008 >
Employees 10,000[1]
Parent Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Cars Ltd., better known simply as Jaguar (pronounced [ˈdʒæɡjuːər]) is a British luxury car manufacturer, headquartered in Coventry, England. It has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indian company Tata Motors Ltd. since March 2008 and is operated as part of the Jaguar Land Rover business.[2]

Jaguar was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company by Sir William Lyons in 1922, originally making motorcycle sidecars before switching to passenger cars. The name was changed to Jaguar after World War II due to the unfavourable connotations of the SS initials.[3] Following several changes of ownership since the 1960s, Jaguar was listed on the London Stock Exchange[clarification needed] and became a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it was acquired by Ford in 1989.[4] Jaguar also holds Royal Warrants from HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Charles.[5]

Jaguar cars today are designed in Jaguar Land Rover's engineering centres at the Whitley plant in Coventry and at Gaydon in Warwickshire, and are manufactured in two of Jaguar Land Rover's plants; Castle Bromwich assembly plant in Birmingham and Halewood Body & Assembly near Liverpool.


Main article: Swallow Sidecar Company

Founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, by two motorcycle enthusiasts, Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley, the SS Jaguar name first appeared on a 2.5 litre saloon in 1935,[6] sports models of which were the SS 90 and SS 100.

The Jaguar name was given to the entire company in 1945 when the "SS" name was dropped due to its association with Germany's SS military organisation much publicised and in Britain greatly reviled during and following World War II.[7] Cash was short after the war and Jaguar sold to Rubery Owen the plant and premises of Motor Panels, a pressed steel body manufacturing company which had been acquired in the late 1930s when growth prospects had seemed more secure.[8] Nevertheless, Jaguar achieved relative commercial success with their early post war models: times were also tough for other Coventry based auto-makers and the company was able to buy from John Black's Standard Motor Company the plant on which Standard had built the six cylinder engines which, hitherto, they had been supplying to Jaguar.[8]

Two of the proudest moments in Jaguar's long history in motor sport involved winning the Le Mans 24 hours race, firstly in 1956 and again in 1957, in the hands of the little known Scottish racing team called Ecurie Ecosse whose name later went down in legendary status for twice pulling off a David v Goliath effort in the famed car killing race.

The distinctive "leaping Jaguar" mascot

Jaguar, pronounced /ˈdʒæɡjuːər/ JAG-yew-ər (U.K.) or pronounced /ˈdʒæɡwɑr/ JAG-wahr (U.S.),[9] made its name in the 1950s with a series of elegantly-styled sports cars and luxury saloons. In 1951 the company leased what would quickly become its principal plant (Browns lane) from the Daimler Motor Company[10] (not to be confused with Daimler-Benz), and in 1960 purchased Daimler from its parent company, the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA). From the late 1960s, Daimler was used as a brand name for Jaguar's most luxurious saloons.[11]

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).[12]

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.[13]

Ford Motor Company ownership (1989-2008)

Jaguar S-Type based on the Ford DEW98 platform

The Ford Motor Company made offers to the US and UK Jaguar shareholders to buy their shares in November 1989; Jaguar's listing on the London Stock Exchange was removed on 28 February 1990.[14] 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.

Since Land Rover's May 2000 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, although the only shared production facility is Halewood, for the X-Type and the Freelander 2. However operationally the two companies were effectively integrated under a common management structure within Ford's PAG division.

On 11 June 2007, Ford announced that it planned to sell Jaguar, along with Land Rover and retained the services of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and HSBC to advise it on the deal. The sale was initially expected to be announced by September 2007, but was delayed until March 2008. Private equity firms such as Alchemy Partners of the UK, TPG Capital, Ripplewood Holdings (which hired former Ford Europe executive Sir Nick Scheele to head its bid), Cerberus Capital Management and One Equity Partners (owned by JP Morgan Chase and managed by former Ford executive Jacques Nasser) of the US, Tata Motors of India and a consortium comprising Mahindra and Mahindra (an vehicle manufacturer from India) and Apollo Management all initially expressed interest in purchasing the marques from the Ford Motor Company.[15][16]

Before the sale was announced, Anthony Bamford, chairman of British excavator manufacturer JCB had expressed interest in purchasing the company in August 2006,[17] but backed out when told the sale would also involve Land Rover, which he did not wish to buy. On Christmas Eve of 2007, Mahindra and Mahindra backed out of the race for both brands, citing complexities in the deal.[18]

Tata Motors ownership (2008-present)

On 1 January 2008, Ford made a formal announcement which declared Tata as the preferred bidder.[19] Tata Motors also received endorsements from the Transport And General Worker's Union (TGWU)-Amicus[20] combine as well as from Ford.[21] According to the rules of the auction process, this announcement would not automatically disqualify any other potential suitor. However, Ford (as well as representatives of Unite) would now be able to enter into more focused and detailed discussions with Tata to iron out issues ranging from labour concerns (job security and pensions), technology (IT systems and engine production) and intellectual property,[22] as well as the final sale price.[23] Ford would also open its books for a more comprehensive due diligence by Tata.[24] On 18 March 2008, Reuters reported that American bankers Citigroup and JP Morgan would be underwriting a loan of USD 3 billion in order to finance the deal.[25]

On 26 March 2008, Ford announced that it had agreed to sell its Jaguar and Land Rover operations to Tata Motors of India, and that the sale was expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2008.[26] Included in the deal were the rights to three other British brands, Jaguar owned Daimler, as well as two dormant brands Lanchester and Rover.[27] On 2 June 2008, the sale to Tata was completed at a cost of £1.7 billion.[28][29][30]

Assembly plants

The Swallow Sidecar company (SSC) was originally located in Blackpool but moved to Holbrook Lane, Coventry in 1928 when demand for the Austin Swallow became too great for the factory's capacity.[31] In 1951, having outgrown the original Coventry site they moved again to Browns Lane which had been a wartime "shadow factory" run by the Daimler Motor Company. Today, Jaguars are assembled at Castle Bromwich in Birmingham and Halewood in Liverpool, England. The historic Browns Lane plant ceased trim and final operations in 2005, the X350 XJ having already moved to Castle Bromwich two years prior, leaving the XK and S-Type production to Castle Bromwich and the X-Type at Halewood, alongside the new Land Rover Freelander 2, from 2007. A reduced Browns Lane site still operates today producing veneers for Jaguar Land Rover and others, as well as some engineering facilities.


Current models


Main article: Jaguar X-Type

Jaguar X-Type

The Jaguar X-Type is a compact executive car launched in 2001 in an effort to compete with similar offerings from Jaguar's German rivals, such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Sharing its platform with a 2000 Ford Mondeo, the X-Type is still in its first generation and without a planned successor. The current face-lifted model is expected to continue through to the 2010 model year in its remaining markets.

The X-Type is available as a saloon and estate and is priced from £21,500–£29,000.[32]

Jaguar Land Rover ceased production of the X-Type at the end of 2009.[33]


Jaguar XF

Main article: Jaguar XF

The Jaguar XF is a mid-size executive car that was introduced in 2008 to replace the out-going S-Type in the company's line-up. In January 2008, the XF was awarded the What Car? 'Car of the Year' and 'Executive Car of the Year' awards. The XF was also awarded Car of the Year 2008 from What Diesel? magazine.

Engines available in the XF are a 3.0 litre V6 diesel or petrol and a 5.0 litre V8 supercharged called the "r" or naturally-aspirated V petrol, and, in the US, a 4.2L V8. Prices range from £33,000 to £59,000.[34]


Main article: Jaguar XJ

Jaguar XJ

The Jaguar XJ is a full-size luxury saloon and the company's flagship model. It has been in production since 1968 with the first generation being the last Jaguar car to have creative input by the company's founder, Sir William Lyons. In early 2003, the third generation XJ arrived in showrooms and while the car's exterior and interior styling were traditional in appearance, the car was completely re-engineered. Its styling attracted much criticism from many motoring journalists who claimed that the car looked old-fashioned and barely more modern than its predecessor, many even citing that the 'Lyons line' had been lost in the translation from Mark 2 into Mark 3 XJ, even though beneath the shell lied a highly-advanced aluminium construction that put the XJ to very near the top of its class.[35] The fourth generation XJ launched in 2009 is a departure in its exterior styling, following the design shift that came into effect previously with the company's XF and XK models.

The XJ is priced from £44,500 to £59,000 with a sport model called the Super V8, starting at £50,000.[36] As the name suggests, the Super V8 features a supercharged 4.2 litre V8 engine, which accelerates the car from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in just 5.0 seconds. To cater to the limousine market, all XJ models are offered with a longer wheelbase as an option, which enlarges the space available inside the cabin.[37]

An all new XJ was launched at a ceremony at the Saatchi Gallery London on 9 July 2009. The new car is expected to go into production at the end of 2009, with deliveries starting in early 2010. It responds to critisms by introducing a far more modern shape with clear Jaguar links, but a more youthful, contemporary stance, while the interior benefits from the change with a totally contemporary ambiance.[38]


Jaguar XK

Main article: Jaguar XK

The Jaguar XK is a luxury grand tourer that was introduced in 2006, where it replaced the Jaguar XK8. The XK is available both as a two-door coupé and two-door cabriolet/convertible.

The XK price ranges from £60,000 - £71,000.[39]

R Models

Historical models

The Jaguar company started production with the pre-war 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 litre models which used engines designed by the Standard Motor Company. The 1.5 litre four-cylinder engine was still supplied by Standard but the two larger six-cylinder ones were made in house. These cars have become known unofficially as Mark IVs.

1939 Jaguar Mk IV 3½ Litre

The first post war model was the 1948 Mark V available with either 2.5 or 3.5 litre engines and had a more streamlined appearance than pre-war models, but more important was the change to independent front suspension and hydraulic brakes.

The big breakthrough was the launch in 1948 of the XK120 sports car, which combined a body shell essentially copied from a 1940 BMW 328 Coupe with the new XK twin overhead camshaft (DOHC) 3.5 litre hemi-head six-cylinder engine designed by William Heynes, Walter Hassan and Claude Baily. This engine had been designed during the long nights during the war when they would be on fire watch in the factory. After several attempts a final design was arrived at. That is until owner William Lyons said "make it quieter". The car had originally been intended as a short production model of about 200 vehicles as a test bed for the new engine until its intended home, the new Mark VII saloon, was ready. The XK120's reception was such that production continued until 1954; it was followed by the XK140, the XK150, and the E-Type, keeping Jaguar in the sports car market. ‎

The power bulge of an 'E-Type'

Introducing the large Mark VII saloon in 1951, a car especially conceived for the American market, Jaguar soon found itself overwhelmed with orders. The Mark VII and its successors gathered rave reviews from magazines such as Road & Track and The Motor. In 1956 a Mark VII won the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally.

The 1955 Mark 1 small saloon was the first monocoque (unibody) car from Jaguar and used a 2.4 litre short stroke version of the XK engine. In 1959, the car was improved with a larger engine and wider windows and became the Mark 2, one of the most recognizable Jaguar models ever produced. It would be popular with British police forces for its small size, light weight, and powerful engine.

The Mark VIII of 1956 and Mark IX of 1958 were essentially updates of the Mark VII but the Mark X of 1961 was a completely new design of large saloon with all round independent suspension and unibody construction.

The independent rear suspension from the Mark X was incorporated in the 1963 S-Type which closely resembled the Mark 2, and in 1967 the Mark 2 name was dropped when the small saloon became the 240/340 range. The 420 of 1966, also sold as the Daimler Sovereign, put a new front onto the S-type, although both cars continued in parallel until the S-Type was dropped in 1968. The Mark X became the 420G in 1966.

The XJ220 was the fastest production car in the world

Of the more recent saloons, the most significant is the XJ (1968–present), still the definitive Jaguar saloon car for many. Since 1968 the Series I XJ has seen major changes in 1973 (to Series II), 1979 (Series III), 1986 Europe/1987 United States (XJ40), 1995 (X300), 1997 (to the V8-powered X308), 2003 (the present model, X350). The most luxurious XJ models carry either the Vanden Plas (US) or Daimler (rest of world) nameplates.

The XJ220 (1992–1994) held the world record for the highest top speed (350 km/h, 217 mph) of a production car.

Notable models

Large executive

Compact executive


  • 1948–1954 XK120
  • 1954–1957 XK140
  • 1957–1961 XK150
  • 1961–1974 E-Type
  • 1975–1996 XJ-S
  • 1992-1994 XJ220
  • 1997–2005 XKR (X100)
  • 1996–2006 Jaguar XK8 [40]
  • 2007-date XKR (X150)

Racing and competition

Jaguar Mark 2

Concept models

  • E1A - The 1950s E-Type concept vehicle
  • E2A - The Second E-Type concept vehicle which was used at LeMans and for racing in USA
  • Pirana (1967)
  • XJ13 - Built to race at LeMans, never run
  • XK180 (1998)
  • F-Type (2000) – Roadster, similar to the XK8 but smaller
  • R-Coupé (2002) – Luxury four-seater coupé, closest competitor being the Bentley Continental GT
  • Fuore XF 10 (2003)
  • R-D6 (2003) – Compact four-seat coupé
  • XK-RR – A high-performance version of last generation XK coupé
  • XK-RS – Another performance-spec version of last generation XK convertible
  • Concept Eight (2004) – Super-luxury version of the long-wheelbase model of the XJ
  • C-XF (2007)


Jaguar has designed in-house four generations of engines.

  • Historical engines:
  • Current engines:
    • Jaguar AJ-V8 engineV8
    • Jaguar AJ-V6 engineV6
    • Jaguar AJD-V6 engine - V6


See also: Jaguar Racing and Jaguar XJR Sportscars

The Jaguar R5 being driven by Mark Webber in 2004 - the team's last season in F1.

The company has had major success in sports car racing, particularly in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Victories came in 1951 and 1953 with the C-Type, then in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the D-Type. The manager of the racing team during this period, Lofty England, later went on to become CEO of Jaguar in the early 1970s. Although the prototype XJ13 was built in the mid-1960s it was never raced, and the famous race was then left for many years, until in the mid-1980s when Tom Walkinshaw's TWR team started designing and preparing Jaguar V12-engined sports prototypes for European sports car races. The team started winning regularly from 1987, and with increased factory backing the team won Le Mans in 1988 and 1990.

In the 1999, Ford decided that Jaguar would be the corporation's Formula One entry. Ford bought out the Stewart Grand Prix team and rebranded it as Jaguar Racing for the 2000 season. The Jaguar F1 program was not a success however, achieving only two podium finishes in five seasons of competition between 2000 and 2004. At the end of 2004, with costs mounting and Ford's profits dwindling, the F1 team was seen as an unneeded expense and was sold to Red Bull energy drinks owner Dietrich Mateschitz, and it became Red Bull Racing. Since 2004 Jaguar has not had an official presence in motorsport.

Notable Jaguar sports racers:

Electric vehicles

Lotus Cars joined Jaguar and Caparo on a luxury hybrid executive sedan project called "Limo-Green" — funded by the UK Government Technology Strategy Board. The vehicle will be a series plug-in hybrid.[41]


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  9. (1962) Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language. New York: World, 782. 
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  17. "JCB's Sir Anthony Bamford eyes Jaguar". Contract Journal (24 August 2006).
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  22. Ghosh, Suprotip (3 January 2008). "Super car technology headed for Tata stable", Hindustan Times. Retrieved on 2008-01-04. 
  23. Leahy, Joe; Bernard Simon, Amy Yee (4 January 2008). "Tata falls for the attraction of opposites", Financial Times. Retrieved on 2008-01-04. 
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  41. "Future Jaguar XJ May Cut CO2 Via Lotus 'LimoGreen' Project". Green Car Reports (2009-02-20). Retrieved on 2009-05-04.

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