History of Jaguar Cars
Jaguar was a very famous British car in the 1950s and 1960s, but due to mergers with other British companies and then being de-merged, ended up in financial troubles. Jaguar was sold to Ford Motors USA in 1989 and Ford sold Jaguar to Tata Group of India in 2008. Now Tatas are the owners of Jaguar and have turned Jaguar Cars around into a highly profitable company making cars which are in big demand.
The origins of Jaguar Cars can be traced to the 'Swallow Sidecar Company', a manufacturer for motor cycle sidecars from 1922. The Swallow Sidecar Company in the late 1920s started making cars from their factory in Coventry in England and their company name was changed to SS Cars Limited. Immediately after the Second World War, they changed the ‘SS’ in their name to 'Jaguar', since the initials 'SS' was a hated name in England due to its association with Hitler's secret police.
Jaguar became famous with their sports cars, especially the Jaguar sports car model XK120 in production from 1948 to 1961. The photo of a 1954 model Jaguar XK120 is shown below, and you can see what a beauty she was. Look at the curves on this car, it is eye catching. I am sure if Tata were to make it again now, it will sell like hot cakes.
Even today many car enthusiast hold that the Jaguar XK120 (photo below) is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. It was not only beautiful, but very powerful with a 3.4-liter 6 cylinder engine and was considered the fastest production car in the world in the late 1940's and early 1950's. It was the favourite car of Hollywood stars. Jaguar also made a name for themselves by winning the Le Mans 24 hour race 5 times in 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1957. So Jaguar was a world-renowned car company in the 1950s and 1960s.
Jaguar also made sedan cars. An example of Jaguar's famous saloon car is the Jaguar Mark 2, which was in production from 1959 to 1967. Jaguar also owned the car brand 'Daimler'.
Even today many car enthusiast hold that the Jaguar XK120 is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. It was not only beautiful, but very powerful with a 3.4-liter 6 cylinder engine and was considered the fastest production car in the world in the late 1940's and early 1950's. It was the favourite car of Hollywood stars. Jaguar also made a name for themselves by winning the Le Mans 24 hour race 5 times in 1951, 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1957. So Jaguar was a world-renowned car company in the 1950s and 1960s.
Who makes Daimler Cars now
Tata owns the rights to the name 'Daimler' for cars, but to date has not made any cars under this brand after Tata acquisition of Jaguar cars in 2008. 'The Daimler Motor Company Limited', was an English Car Company which was established in 1896 by Mr. H. J. Lawson. Lawson bought the right to use the name 'Daimler' from Mr. Gottlieb Daimler, the German engineer who is credited with the invention of the high speed petrol engine and whose name is now used by the Company Daimler AG., the parent company of Mercedes Benz.
In 1960 Jaguar bought the UK Daimler Company from BSA (Birmingham Small Arms Company) who in turn bought it from Mr. Lawson in 1910. Jaguar used the 'Daimler' brand for their top model cars. Daimler cars had the Royal Warrant to supply cars to the English Kings and Queens from 1902 till 1950 when Rolls-Royce was awarded the Royal warrant. Below you can see the Jaguar made Daimler car used by the late Queen Mother of England which had a special Lion statue on its bonnet (picture from the website www.daimler.co.uk)
Ford used the name 'Daimler' till 2007 within Jaguar's range, but stopped using the 'Daimler' brand after 2007. When Ford sold Jaguar to Tata the deal must have included the brand name 'Daimler', but to date Tata has not made any cars under the 'Daimler' badge.
How Tata bought Jaguar
Trouble started for Jaguar cars in 1965 when the British Motor Corporation (BMC) bought the company that made all the steel body parts for Jaguar, The Pressed Steel Company Ltd. This led to Jaguar being merged into BMC in 1965 and in 1968, Jaguar became a part of British Leyland. With the loss of Jaguar car's independence, the quality of Jaguar cars suffered and demand for its cars declined dramatically. In 1984 Jaguar was made a separate company, but it could not survive for long. Eventually in 1989, Ford Motors of USA bought Jaguar.
Under Ford, Jaguar revived a bit, but could not grow. Ford was losing money with Jaguar for almost 20 years from 1989 to 2007. Ford itself was struggling in USA to survive. The big 3 carmakers of USA were struggling at this time due to lack of demand for their cars. General Motors went under and had to be revived with Government intervention. Chrysler was sold off. Ford survived by selling off most of its overseas investments including Jaguar. Ford put on sale its two car companies in the UK, Jaguar and Land Rover. The contenders from India to buy Jaguar Land Rover from Ford were Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors. Finally in June 2008, Tata won the bid and bought Jaguar Land Rover.
The timing of Tata's purchase of JLR could not have come at a worse time. The subprime mortgage crisis in USA and the Lehman Brothers filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on September 15, 2008 shook world finances and slowed down world economies. Demand for cars hit the floor. Tata's purchase of Jaguar Land Rover was in trouble. How Jaguar Land Rover came out of this mess could only be attributed to the great management skill of the Tata Group and its leader Ratan Tata. It is said Mr. Ratan Tata took personal interest in the affairs of JLR, visiting their premises and car design departments regularly. Unlike Ford, Tata used to take quick decisions and implement them immediately.
Tata turned around Jaguar Land Rover in a matter of just 3 years. In 2011 JLR made a profit of £1.1 billion, about the same amount Tata paid to buy JLR. This turnaround of Jaguar by Tata is now the subject of case studies in leading management colleges.