On the first press day of the Frankfurt show, I found myself on the Jaguar stand at 7.30am. At that time of the morning, the final touches are still being made to the displays.
Suddenly, out the static of an LCD display, popped this new logo. ‘Ah yes’ said the press officer. ‘That’s the company’s new logo. It hasn’t been seen before.’
The new Jaguar Land Rover logo
We have long referred to Jaguar and Land Rover as one company, which wasn’t strictly accurate. They just happen to be owned by the same Indian conglomerate, after a spell under the Ford umbrella.
In reality, they shared little, having different factories, different platform families and independent design and research and development hubs.
However, the arrival of the new corporate logo not only marks the arrival of the world’s newest carmaker, but also signals the increasing merging of operations that were historically separate.
In the not-too-distant future, we should see a big re-development of Solihull, which should get a new production line capable of building the aluminium monocoque for the next-generation Range Rover. In time, the Jaguar XJ could also be built at Solihull.
Soon the Jaguar design team will be moving to Gaydon, though the studio will be separate from Land Rover’s existing design team.
Ironically, in the past Jaguar and Rover (Land Rover being the surviving part of original Rover Car company) have been forced into association with each other.
Jaguar and Rover found themselves under the BLMC banner back in 1968, when the then-Labour government forced Leyland Vehicles and BMC to merge.
The story goes that limited development resources forced Jaguar and Rover to fight over new model development. Of Rover’s planned new range of the Range Rover, P8 executive, and P6Bs mid-engined sports car, only the off-roader survived. Some claim Jag boss William Lyons did not care for in-house competition for the new XJ saloon and E-Type.
Rover P6Bs was a victim of Rover-Jaguar in-fighting
During the nationalized wilderness years of British Leyland, Jaguar and Land Rover founds themselves bundled in a division with Triumph called JRT – a sort of BL luxury division. Again, internal co-operation was conspicuous by its absence.
I think it’s safe to say it’ll be third time lucky for Jaguar-Land Rover as on-off partnerships spread over 40 years finally become a proper merger.