Jaguar was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, originally making motorcycle sidecars before developing bodies for passenger cars. The business grew to manufacture cars made in association with Standard Motor Co. The company's name was changed from S.S. Cars to Jaguar Cars in 1945.

Jaguar merged with the British Motor Corporation in 1966, which was then merged with Leyland Motor Corporation in 1968 and became British Leyland.

Jaguar was spun off from British Leyland and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984, and then acquired by Ford in 1990. Ford also bought Land Rover in 2000, until 2008 when it sold both Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors.

In 2013, Jaguar Cars was merged with Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover Limited as the single design, manufacture, sales company and brand owner for both Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.