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When it comes to a classic British car, the Jaguar brand comes to mind. Cars amazes with its article, grandeur, a certain coldness, but at the same time impudence and temperament.
True, the iconic brand is currently going through hard times, as a result, Ford was even forced to sell the brand to the Indians from Tata Motors. It all started with motorcycle strollers.
The history of the company dates back to 1922, when two Englishmen, William Lyons and William Walmsley, founded Swallow Sidecars. She was engaged in the creation of sidecars for motorcycles. At the same time, the production was clearly not handicraft, since among the customers were such “bison” as the Italian Fiat, as well as Swift, Austinm Morris and Wolseley. At the same time, the partners noted that the strollers from Swallow Sidecars were quite stylish, truly British. This product is designed for intellectuals, respectively, and it was not cheap.
Orders grew every year, and in 1931 the company moved from the seaside Blackpool in the north of England to the much more industrial Coventry. At the new location, the company immediately increased its production area, which made it possible to increase its volumes. The staff has also grown. And one of the founders of the company, William Lyons, found the means to start designing his own car.
In 1931, the SS I car saw the light, which became the firstborn of the Swallow Sidecars. This modification was produced in two variations - with 16 and 20 horsepower. The model was produced until 1936. And since 1932, the company began to develop a stripped-down model, which was later called the SS II. This model tried to cover the segment of less affluent clients, and therefore it was cut in functionality. However, both models were still quite expensive.
In the early 1940s, World War II raged, Swallow Sidecars factories switched to the production of military equipment. Work on the production of cars resumed only in 1948. True, now the company has received a different name - Jaguar. The founders decided to give her the name of a graceful beast that stood out more than others among its relatives. So the company's cars had to correspond to this image.
In the late 1940s, Jaguar began building a new, two-cylinder engine for its cars. That development was considered revolutionary, because it was this company that became the first to introduce two and four-cylinder engines into its production cars. And in 1948 the company presented a new model, the Jaguar XK, at the London Motor Show. This car has become a real sensation, thanks to its exquisite appearance and engine. At that time, the power of 105 horsepower seemed like something prohibitive. The Jaguar XK120 cars themselves could accelerate to a phenomenal 120 kilometers per hour. These cars have become as synonymous with speed and luxury as Ferraris are today. Jaguars are as fast and expensive today as they were then, only more stately.
And in the early 1950s, the company turned its attention to motor sports. It became clear that the best advertisement was the victory of the car at prestigious races, or at least participation in them. In 1951, the Jaguar C-Type model appeared, in which the body was made with improved aerodynamics. This allowed the company to win its first race victories. That year, the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans surrendered to the Jaguar. And in 1954, the Jaguar XK140 convertible appeared, which became popular.
The Jaguar D-Type was launched in the same year. In total, only 88 of these machines were produced. Today they are a pride for collectors, how much each item costs is hard to imagine. And in the late 1950s, another novelty was presented, the Jaguar MK II. She was not only traditionally fast, but also distinguished by increased reliability. It is no coincidence that this car has served the UK police for a long time.
One model replaced another, while older cars did not disappear, but found their place in the garages of real car fans. After all, some already then understood how valuable the creations of Jaguar would be in the future.
An important event in the life of the brand happened in 1966 when it became part of the British Motor Company holding. And two years later, the Leyland company was added there, eventually giving the name to the British Leyland Motor Corporation. But this merger had little impact on Jaguar's policies. She herself was responsible for her lineup and for the future strategy.
Also another British company, Daimler, was subordinate to it. Its developments began to be actively used in Jaguar. Daimler itself began to gradually leave the market. Most likely, the holding realized that owning two competing brands is a luxury. Nevertheless, some Daimler models were produced until the 1990s.
And in 1988, the legendary Jaguar XJ220 appeared, which developed a speed of up to 220 miles per hour. He became the fastest mass-produced model, retaining this honorary title until 1994. Jaguar helped a lot in the emergence of the fashion for European luxury cars in the United States. It is no coincidence that the brand - the pride of England was acquired by Ford in 1989. Only after 20 years will the Americans get rid of the once glorious and now unprofitable asset.
In many ways, the popularity of the Jaguar brand is connected not only with the world of cars itself. Such cars are real stars of politics and show business. Even in the English parliament, most politicians use cars of this particular brand. Yes, and British premieres ride a black Jaguar, this applies to both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. So politicians give the brand additional advertising, but they are not the only difference.
Cars of this brand are very popular among actors and musicians. One of the main fans of the Jaguar brand is the English singer Sting. He dreamed of owning such a car, even when he was just a school teacher. But now a musician can afford to have several such thoroughbred "horses" in the garage at once. Naturally, favorites appear in Sting's videos, because they are the very embodiment of grace. Jaguar has many other dedicated celebrity fans as well. This is Jack Nicholson, Samuel El Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart. You can only dream of such advertising!
And the brand is very popular among the football players of the Premier League of England. The former star of the national team, Michael Owen, had such a car. The royals are trying to keep up with the stars. And it's easy to explain - Jaguar was originally created for the very best. At one time, Danish Prince George, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco drove around in such cars. And again - a great advertisement for luxury cars.
As you can see, the history of the company has no shocks or deep crises, interesting breakthroughs. But such a development can be considered typically English. Jaguar itself has always been considered closed, but this has always only benefited its image. Currently, the crises in the global economy have sharply reduced interest in luxury items. This only made Jaguar's plight worse. The debt-ridden company is now owned by Indians.
True, the deal turned out to be rather strange, because Tata Motors is a large manufacturer of cheap cars. Why did she need an unprofitable enterprise that was alien to her in spirit? Indians themselves assure that they will do everything possible to preserve the famous brand and straighten its finances. After all, such names, the property of the world of cars, should not be scattered around. But in Russia, sales of an elite car only grow from year to year.