I am wondering about Jaguar and Land Rover today. Why? Funny you should ask, but since you did, I will tell you. Ford Motor Company announced its sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to India's Tata on this day back 2008 for $2.3 billion, which was less than half what Ford had originally paid for the two. Why did they do that? The auto industry had been suffering through a sales slump and I guess that Ford needed the money more than the right to make those two brands.
This made me wonder where the two vehicles got their start in the first place. I will start with the Jaguar. It started from the Swallow Sidecar Company which was founded in 1922 in England. They made motorcycle side cars and was renamed SS Cars Ltd and in 1935, its first Jaguar automobile (the SS Jaguar 100) was launched. After World War II, since the letters "SS" had an evil connotation, they changed their name to Jaguar Cars Ltd.
The XK-120 made its debut and was capable of speeds up to 120 mph or so. This was in 1948. Now, this information really surprised me since I had no idea that a production car capable of those speeds existed that early.
The other vehicle I am wondering about is the Land Rover which made its appearance in 1948. How did it come about? Maurice Wilks used an old American-made Willy-Overland Jeep to do work around his farm in England. The Jeep had mechanical problems and so he designed a more reliable vehicle, meant for use on farms so that the farmer would have something more versatile than a tractor. It was boxy, had four wheel drive and a canvas top. The Land Rover was so popular that they spread all over the world. Ford Motor Company acquired Land Rover back in 2000 for 2.7 million dollars. So now you know some more useless information which you may never use, but try to have a great day today anyway, you hear?