North Carolina is a pretty patriotic place. This used to mean that people drove vehicles from one of the big three American automakers (Ford, GM, and Chrysler). With global trade booming and the ownership of these “American” companies being increasingly foreign, people are opening up to different brands.
British cars have always seemed kind of alluring and luxurious but also mostly a mystery. These brands have undergone much of the same process of foreign investment, and some are even American-owned. Let’s look at a few of these brands you may have heard of and learn a bit more.
Jaguar – The Jaguar brand is pretty well known in the United States. It’s respected as a producer of high-quality luxury vehicles and is easily identifiable by the protruding Jaguar emblem. Originally part of the British Leyland group, the company was nationalized in the 1970s, re-privatized in the 80s, sold to Ford Motors in the 90s and then the Indian company Tata purchased the brand in 2008. Jaguar is still headquartered in Whitley, Coventry in England, though.
Aston Martin – Another brand known for luxury and excellence, Aston Martin was founded way back in 1913 and remains headquartered in England despite being owned for a time by Ford and now by a conglomeration of American and Middle Eastern investors. They are known for elegant sports cars that are often featured in movies and by the rich and famous.
Bentley – Just the name Bentley makes English aristocracy and wealth come to mind. This is for good reason since the Royals exclusively contract Bentley to make their limousines. They are based in Crewe, in England, but Germany’s Volkswagen purchased them from Rolls-Royce in the late 1990s.
Rolls-Royce – Speaking of Rolls-Royce, they are another legendary British auto brand in their own right. Rolls-Royce does not have the same level of production as some of their competitors, but what they miss in quantity they make up for in quality. They make limousines and even cars with gold plating. Rolls-Royce also remains headquartered in England, in Goodwood, but are now owned by BMW.
Mini, Land Rover, Vauxhall – Less luxurious, but more common, these three brands have been able to bring British cars to a wider, American audience. Vauxhall is owned by General Motors, Mini is owned by BMW, and Land Rover is owned by Tata, the Indian company that also owns Jaguar. If you want to own a British vehicle, all three are manufactured there, but these won’t have quite the pricetag as a Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley, or Rolls-Royce will.
If you have a British vehicle and live in the Triangle, EuroClassics Limited is your Durham, European car expert and will be happy to help you maintain these beautiful machines.