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 World War II.
The Ford Motor Company made offers to the US and UK Jaguar shareholders to buy their shares in November 1989; Jaguar's listing on the London Stock Exchange was removed on 28 February 1990. In 1999 it became part of Ford's new Premier Automotive Group along with Aston Martin, Volvo Cars and, from 2000, Land Rover. Aston Martin was subsequently sold off in 2007.
On 11 June 2007, Ford announced that it planned to sell Jaguar, along with Land Rover and retained the services of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and HSBC to advise it on the deal.On 1 January 2008, Ford made a formal announcement which declared Tata as the preferred bidder. Tata Motors also received endorsements from the Transport And General Worker's Union (TGWU)-Amicus combine as well as from Ford. According to the rules of the auction process, this announcement would not automatically disqualify any other potential suitor. However, Ford (as well as representatives of Unite) would now be able to enter into more focused and detailed discussions with Tata to iron out issues ranging from labour concerns (job security and pensions), technology (IT systems and engine production) and intellectual property, as well as the final sale price. Ford would also open its books for a more comprehensive due diligence by Tata.