On this day in auto history - August 9th

Mon 9th Aug 2021

It was on this day in 1984 that Jaguar was formally separated from the ailing, government-owned British Leyland conglomerate ahead of an imminent stock market flotation.

Having been perilously close to collapse in the late 1970’s, the iconic marque had been revived under the stewardship of acclaimed chief executive John Egan and, in many ways, became a victim of its own success. As it was proving profitable, the government wanted to cash in and privatise it…much against the wishes of the British Leyland board.

With extra capital to play with after privatisation, Egan - who was to later be knighted - was able to markedly enhance Jaguar’s quality so that it could compete with German rivals whilst also improving its productivity.

In 1990, Jaguar again fell into private ownership when it was purchased by Ford who made it part its ‘Premier Automotive Group’ along with fellow acquisitions, Aston Martin, Volvo and Land Rover but under Ford’s ownership, Jaguar proved largely unprofitable.

In 2008, Ford would sell off both Jaguar and Land Rover to Indian giants, Tata Motors, who promptly combined the two marques into Jaguar Land Rover Ltd in an inspired move which has propelled both brands to new heights.