Who owns Jaguar Cars, and where are Jaguars made? Time to set the facts straight.
Like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Cadillac, and other contemporaries, Jaguar has been making cars for a very long time and is pretty good at it. Not only are Jaguars easily recognizable, but they have also become synonymous with luxury and performance.
But how much do you know about the British automaker? Sure, Jaguar is currently owned by Indian automaker Tata and makes some of the best luxury vehicles and sports cars, but how much do you really know about its origins and track record of making cars?
In this guide, we explore the history of Jaguar, including the various companies that have owned it over time, as well as where its vehicles are made. You will also learn other interesting facts about the brand that you probably didn’t know.
Who Owns Jaguar Cars?
Jaguar has been owned by several companies over the course of its life, both as a result of mergers and acquisitions.
The automaker traces its origins to the Swallow Sidecar Company, a manufacturer of motorcycle sidecars founded by William Lyons and Williams Walmsley in 1922 in Blackpool, England.
Swallow Sidecar Company later changed its name to ‘S.S. Cars Limited’ In 1935, the same year it introduced the SS Jaguar 2.5 litre Saloon and SS 100 and SS 90 sports cars, the first vehicles to be called Jaguar.
These models quickly gained notoriety for their sleek and beautiful styling, so much so that the company once again changed its name to ‘Jaguar Cars Limited’ in 1945 to better reflect the qualities of the vehicles it was making and aspired to make and disassociate itself from the Nazi SS of World War 2.
Jaguar introduced a series of successful luxury cars, sports cars, and race cars in the 1940s-1960s that solidified its reputation as a premier automaker, including the elegant and fast XK120, the C‑Type racing sports car, the pure-bred D‑Type race car, and the stunning E-Type.
The C‑Type won the Le Mans 24 hours race in 1951 and 1953, while the D‑Type won it in 1955, 1956, 1957. The E-Type is widely considered the most beautiful car ever made.
To improve its economies of scale and supply chain, Jaguar merged with the British Motor Corporation in 1966 to form British Motor Holdings (BMH). BMH then merged with Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968 to become British Leyland.
Because of financial difficulties, Jaguar was spun off from British Leyland in 1984, becoming its own company once again.
Looking to establish a luxury division to complement its struggling Lincoln brand, Ford Motors acquired the company in 1999, making it part of its Premier Automotive Group, along with Land Rover, Aston Martin, and Volvo Cars.
Jaguar never made a profit under the American automaker’s ownership and was consequently sold to Indian automaker Tata Motors in 2008, along with Land Rover.
Tata paired Jaguar with Land Rover to establish Jaguar Land Rover Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary headquartered in the UK.
Under Tata’s helm, Jaguar enjoyed greater autonomy than it did under Ford and underwent a sweeping modernization of its designs, platforms, and technologies, a byproduct of which was the I-Pace SUV, its first-ever electric vehicle.
Today, the storied British automaker produces some of the best luxury cars, SUVs, and sports cars, matching or even surpassing key rivals such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi in luxury, tech, and performance. It announced in 2021 that all Jaguars will be electric by 2025.
Iconic Jaguar Cars
Jaguar has introduced many iconic vehicles over the decades, ranging from road-going sports cars and luxury sedans to pure-bred racer cars.
Here is a collection of the most iconic, memorable, and important Jaguar cars of all time:
- SS Jaguar Saloon – This was the original Jaguar. Initially a model line of the Swallow Sidecar Company, its distinct four-door design and overall success helped motivate the company to change its name to ‘Jaguar’.
- 1948 Jaguar XK120 – A beautiful, classic British sports car, the XK120 was the fastest production car in the world at the time with a top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h).
- 1951 Jaguar C-Type – The C-Type replaced the XK120, featuring a 25-percent lighter construction and a sleek, race-inspired design. It won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1951 and 1953, as well as the 1952 Reims Grand Prix, marking the first time that a car using disc brakes won a race.
- 1954 Jaguar D-Type – Designed for racing, the D-type was the first car to employ a monocoque construction, a design element that helped it win the 24 Hours of Le Mans three years in a row (1955, 1956, 1957).
- 1961 Jaguar E-Type – Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari described the E-Type as “the most beautiful car ever made”. It set a very high bar for future Jaguar models and stands out as an extraordinary design exercise to this day.
- Jaguar XJ220 – Produced from 1992 to 1994, the XJ220 was the fastest production car of all time until the McLaren F1 arrived and possibly the world’s first hypercar. A mid-mounted, 542 hp 3.5-liter V6 engine allowed it to accelerate to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of over 212.4 mph (342 km/h).
- Jaguar F-Type SVR – As the ultimate expression of Jaguar in the 2010s and early 2020s, the performance-tuned F-Type embodies everything the brand stands for. Its exquisite styling and exhilarating performance are callbacks to earlier Jaguars.
Where Are Jaguars Made
Jaguar is a British automaker through and through despite being owned by several foreign companies over the last three decades, Tata Motors and Ford. Jaguar Land Rover is headquartered in Coventry, England, and its main manufacturing plant is in Birmingham.
In addition to England, Jaguars are manufactured in Austria, China, and India. Here are the factories where each model is made:
- Birmingham, England – Jaguar XE, XF, and F-Type
- Solihull, England – Jaguar F-Pace
- Wolverhampton, England — Engine assembly for Jaguar, Land Rover vehicles
- Graz, Austria (operated in partnership with Magna Steyr) — Jaguar E-Pace and I-Pace
- Changshu, China – Jaguar XE, XF, and E-Pace, as well as engine assembly
- Pune, India – Jaguar XF assembled using complete knock-down kits*
Most of these plants also make Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles. Moreover, some Jaguars were made in the U.S. when Jaguar was owned by Ford.
*Knock-down kits are a collection of parts that are manufactured in one area (e.g. England) and transported to another area (in this case, India) for final assembly.
Jaguar Car Facts
Jaguar has been around for so long and has done so much that it would be difficult to highlight all its accompaniment in one succinct, easy-to-digest article, so we’ll do the next best thing and present you with other interesting facts about the automaker that you might not know.
- Jaguar is a luxury carmaker like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Cadillac.
- The name ‘Jaguar’ was first used in 1935 on the SS Jaguar 2.5 litre Saloon (sedan), as well as the SS 90 and SS 100 sports models.
- The company chose to call itself ‘Jaguar’ in large part because the big cat symbolized the grace and finely-tuned balance of power and agility of the vehicles it aspired to make.
- The 1948 XK120 introduced the vertically ribbed oval grille that became the brand’s signature for decades. It was also the fastest production car of its time.
- Jaguar’s iconic “Grace, Space, Pace” advertising slogan that was used for decades first appeared in the 1950s.
- Jaguar has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times. The company’s first win came in 1951 with the Jaguar C-Type, while its last occurred in 1990 with the Jaguar XJR-12.
- The Jaguar XJ220 was the fastest production car in the world from 1992 to 1993, a title it lost after the arrival of the McLaren F1.
- Jaguar stopped using “The Leaper” hood ornament in 2005 to meet the European Union’s safety standards for vehicles. The Leaper was replaced with a face-on chrome embossed emblem called ‘The Grinner’.
- Jaguar introduced its first all-electric model in 2018 after revealing it at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.
- Every Jaguar model will be all-electric by 2025.
Jaguar Cars FAQs
If you’re looking to learn more, here are answers to other popular questions about Jaguar cars and SUVs.
Is Jaguar Fully Owned By Tata?
Yes. In 2008, Tata Motors acquired full ownership of both Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motors for $2.3 billion (£1.7 billion). The Indian automaker then established Jaguar Land Rover Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary registered and headquartered in England.
Is Jaguar An Indian Company?
No. Even though Jaguar is currently owned by Indian automaker Tata, the company was founded in England, still has its headquarters in England, and designs and manufactures most of its vehicles in England.
Tata gave Jaguar a lot of autonomy after acquiring it from Ford in 2008.
Are Jaguars Made In China?
Yes. Jaguar Land Rover produces Jaguar vehicles in Changshu, China, through its partnership with Chinese automaker Chery.
The Jaguar XE and XF sedans and E-Pace crossover are currently the only Jaguar models made in China. Built for Chinese buyers, they are not exported to North America, Europe, or other world markets.
Jaguar is a storied British carmaker known for making some of the best luxury cars and sports cars, having blessed the automotive world with such iconic models as the XK120, C-Type, E-Type, and D-Type.
The company has a modern lineup of compelling cars and SUVs and fosters ambitions of becoming an all-electric car brand by 2025.
So, who owns Jaguar Cars? Today, Jaguar is owned by Tata Motors and has been since 2008. Before that, it was owned by Ford from 1999 to 2008, British Leyland from 1968 to 1984, and British Motor Holdings from 1966 to 1968.
Where are Jaguars made? Modern Jaguars are made in several places around the world, namely Birmingham, Solihull, and Wolverhampton, England; Graz, Austria; Changshu, China; and Pune, India.