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A Brief history of Jaguar

Jaguar cars began life in 1922 when two motorcycle enthusiasts, William Lyons And William Walmsley, set up the Swallow Sidecar Company, the first use of the Jaguar name came in 1935 with the launch of a 2.5 litre saloon car called the SS Jaguar, ten years later in 1945 the Jaguar name was then given to the whole of the company.

The 1950's saw great successes for Jaguar especially at the Le Mans 24 hour race, victories were achieved in 1951 and 1953 with the C-Type and also in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the D-Type. Alongside these racing successes, throughout the fifties, Jaguar produced luxury saloons and elegant sports cars and built a name for itself as a manufacturer of quality vehicles. 1960 Saw Jaguar purchase the Daimler brand (not to be confused with Daimler-Benz) from BSA (the Birmingham Small Arms Company) and from the end of the late sixties Jaguar used the Daimler name to indicate their top of the range models.

During the late Sixties and early seventies Jaguar was subject to many takeovers and mergers eventually becoming part of the British Leyland Motor Corporation, further financial difficulties and the publication of the Ryder Report in 1975 led to the effective nationalisation of the British Leyland Motor Corporation and the company became known as British Leyland Ltd. Jaguar stayed as part of this company until in 1984, under a government initiatve, Jaguar was floated as a separate company on the stock market, five years later the Ford Motor Company made an offer for Jaguar and once accepted Jaguar was removed from the stock exchange listings in the February of 1990.

Although Jaguar struggled with reliability throughout the seventies and eighties, coming under the Ford umbrella ironed out many of these complaints and in many customer surveys the Jaguar product has scored well, however Jaguar has never returned a profit for Ford since it purchased it in 1989 and in 2007 Jaguar again found itself in a position where it was once again up for sale.

After much negotiating Jaguar and Land Rover again changed ownership in the first quarter of 2008, when the Indian manufacturer Tata paid $2.3 billion for both companies, quite a loss for Ford, who had paid $5.2 billion for the prestigious marques only eight years previously.

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