In 1922, William Lyons and William Walmsley started a body shop under the company name Swallow Sidecar. At the beginning of the company, production was focused on the production of aluminum boxes for sidecars.
Not enough production for the ambitious William Lyons. Swallow begins building bodies for the Austin Seven along with sidecars; in 1928 the company was renamed the Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Company and moved to Coventry.
The beginning in the car
William Lyons has big plans; in 1931 the first car appeared: Swallow Sidecar 1 or SS1, produced by a subsidiary of SS Cars limited. William Walmsley, who does not have the same goals, sold all his shares to… William Lyons.
The first success comes soon and, in 1935, it is a sedan then, the sports road is rejected; it is SS 100 that will know the big victory in the competition.
In 1937, the 2.5 liter saloon became the first Jaguar. The popularity of the brand has been given after this name was found by William Lyons himself, who is also the marketing director of the brand.
Political correctness rules
No car will be produced during World War II; the company is contributing to the war effort. In 1945, after the victory over Nazi Germany, it was fashionable to change; SS is no longer in the scent of sanctity… Jaguar cars ltd will be the official name from now on.
The logo takes the profile of a leaping cat with Jaguar’s name written in large green letters. And Jaguar established itself as a sports car manufacturer and went as far as winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans several times in the 1950s. A leaping cat adorns the bonnet and its open mouth has been on the grilles since the XK 120.
Jaguar, a brand with an appetite
In 1960, Daimler, a smaller, even higher brand, was taken over by William Lyons. In 1961, it was a truck company and engine manufacturers Meadows and Coventry Climax (V8s for Lotus Formula 1 cars that won the competition thanks to Jim Clark). It is also the appearance of “Type E”. In 1966, William Lyons merged Jaguar with the British Motor Corporation (Austin, Austin Healey, Morris, MG, Riley and Wolseley).
In 1968, the XJ sedan replaced all sedans of the brand. The new group, British Motors holding, would merge two years later with Leyland to form British Leyland. At the age of 70, in 1972, William Lyons left the presidency of Jaguar. The dark period begins.
A lame jaguar
The management, which today is described as bad, of British Leyland is lowering the quality of the production of Jaguars owned by the group. The logo remains unchanged but Jaguar has lost its luster due to frequent reliability issues.
Jaguar will be privatized in 1984 by the government of the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher. This is an era where Jaguar shines with endurance. Quality improves little by little until 1989 when Ford owns the nugget. Ten years later, Ford included Jaguar in the “First Car Group” with Aston Martin, Land Rover and Volvo.
2001, logo change
First, the actual evolution of the logo, the jaguar is lengthened and the features are improved; The Jaguar letters are now in black, still in large letters, and widely spaced. In 2005, helmet statues were banned.
In 2008, the Indian group Tata owned Jaguar but will wait until 2012 to change the logo again, which takes metallic reflections in a 3D effect. The Jaguar is still featured on the grille as an open-mouthed canister on a silver or red background, depending on the car.