Monday, July 6, 2009

Profile : Jaguar Company

Though established in 1935, the now Jaguar Car Company was originally the name of a car developed by the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922. Founders William Lyons and William Walmsley would later rename the company.

Jaguar bought the Daimler car company in 1960 and, later, merged with the British Motor Corporation (BMC). The British government later separated it from British in 1984 where it was purchased shortly afterwards by Ford Motor Co. Ford would add the marque to its Premier Automotive Group (PAG) which was composed of Aston Martin, Land Rover, and Volvo. For a time, Lincoln was part of PAG but was removed in the early 2000s. Aston Martin was later sold to a consortium led by Prodrive.

Jaguars are known for two things: sporty luxury and reliablity (or lack of). It developed the former in the 1950s with a string of beautiful cars and wins at the Le Mans. The Seventies and Eighties were not kind to the brand, with Jaguars suffering notorious electrical issues.

Ford's ownership, though, and the subsequent funds had improved Jaguar reliability dramatically. In 1999, Jaguar brought back the S-Type, a retro remake of its 1964 sedan. A couple of years later, the all-new X-Type debuted. Based on the European Ford Mondeo, the small sedan was aimed as a competitor of the BMW 3-Series.

The brand has yet to develop a profit for its parent company. In late 2006, rumors were rampant that Ford planned to sell the marque. Instead, the U.S. automake sold Aston Martin, making way for Jaguar to move upscale in the PAG ladder. The all-new XK coupe and, later, convertible, have many analysts wondering if Jaguar has finally landed on its feet. The C-XF Concept, which may replace the S-Type, has also generated high hopes for the brand as well.

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