Why Jaguar are on a roll
How Jaguar went from being a dull brand stuck in a bit of a rut, to a brand representing innovation and quality
If you're old enough, cast your mind back to the early 2000's. Jaguar, the very company that bought the world the likes of the E-Type, the XK120 and the XJ220 to name but a few were now producing some downright bland and an unimaginative range of cars.
Since 1990, Ford had been overseeing Jaguar. This article isn't about Ford's ownership of Jaguar, because really that's too interesting a story to sum up in a just a few sentences. But while Ford did have Jaguar during some good times, during some other times, Ford were a tad lazy with one of the most recognisable brands to come out of Britain.
While these two cars are unmistakeable different, they do in fact share many parts. The Jaguar X-Type while a perfectly decent car, was in many ways a rebadged Ford Mondeo. This to me, symbolises the problem that Jaguar was in around this time. Jaguar cars of old were exciting and caught the eye, or they were luxurious and understated. At this point, Jaguars were dull and about as interesting as a brick.
IN CAME TATA MOTORS
We all know how well Tata's ownership of Jaguar (and Land Rover) has gone down. But at the time, there was most certainly a degree of skepticism. Surely a brand of Jaguar's status would be better handled in BMW's hands? At the time of Tata's purchase of Jaguar, the worldwide economy wasn't exactly in robust health.
As the BBC article states, while Land Rover were a profitable brand under Ford's ownership, things weren't quite as rosy with Jaguar.
Among one of the first new Jaguars to be sold under Tata's watch, was the X351 XJ. This was certainly a fantastic car, one that was understated, comfortable and interesting. This surely can't be a Jaguar, right?
But this car merely acted as a teaser for what was to come. The concept car, the Jaguar C-X75 is universally praised and admired. The car was modern and suited Jaguar perfectly. It wasn't a Jaguar that looked a bit like a Ford, it was a Jaguar in every sense.
But this legendary concept car remained just that. A concept car. This car was never put into production although the car would later appear in the 2015 James Bond film Spectre.
The real turning point for Jaguar came in 2013. This new sporty Jag was exactly what the company needed to make itself stand out, and to be a genuine competitor to the likes of Porsche and Audi.
Where can you begin when talking about the F-Type? It clearly the modern day successor to the E-Type. The car has so far sold very well and many of the other successful Jags on sale today, owe their existence to the F-Type.
In being part of Jaguar Land Rover, both Jaguar and Land Rover have benefitted from this hugely successful and perhaps slightly surprising partnership. Today's current Range Rover Sport would not have been as successful were Land Rover not part of the same company as the far sportier Jaguar. And the current Jaguar F-Pace would not be as successful were Jaguar not part of the same company as Land Rover.
Jaguar weren't at risk of petering out of existence in 2008, but they were at risk of losing relevance in the ever changing motoring world. But 12 years later, Jaguar really are on a roll.