Founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, by two motorcycle enthusiasts, Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley, the SS Jaguar name first appeared on a 2.5 litre saloon in 1935, sports models of which were the SS 90 and SS 100. The Jaguar name was given to the entire company in 1945 when the SS was dropped due to lack of popularity from WWII. Jaguar, pronounced /ˈdʒæɡjuːər/ JAG-yew-ər (U.K.) or pronounced /ˈdʒæɡwɑr/ JAG-wahr (U.S.),
Jaguar made its name in the 1950s with a series of elegantly-styled sports cars and luxury saloons. In 1951 the company leased what would quickly become its principal plant from the Daimler Motor Company (not to be confused with Daimler-Benz), and in 1960 purchased Daimler from its parent company, the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA). From the late 1960s, Daimler was used as a brand name for Jaguar's most luxurious saloons.
Jaguar merged with the British Motor Corporation (BMC), the Austin-Morris combine, to form British Motor Holdings (BMH) in 1966. After merging with Leyland, which had already taken over Rover and Standard Triumph, the resultant company then became the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) in 1968. Financial difficulties and the publication of the Ryder Report led to effective nationalisation in 1975 and the company became British Leyland, Ltd. (later simply BL plc).