Britain is known for its cars. British car brands are some of the most recognizable in the whole world, including Jaguar, MINI Cooper, Rolls Royce and Land Rover. Other well-known UK car manufacturers include Aston Martin, McLaren and Bentley. This article will explore how these companies have grown to become so successful today.
Although Britain is not seen as one of the biggest car makers in terms of volume of sales, it has had a significant influence on developing technologies used around the world. It is also the home of many popular England based car brands. Britain led the way in terms of automobile design and engineering for a long time. From the 1950s to the 1970s, British made car brands were on the top globally with great, innovative designs such as those from Jaguar, MINI Cooper and Triumph.
List of Top British Car Brands that are active till now:
- Land Rover
- Aston Martin
- Rolls Royce
- AC Cars Ltd.
- Ascari Cars Ltd.
- Briggs Automotive Company
- Caterham Cars
- Morgan Motor Company
- Lotus Cars
- Alldays & Onions Car Company
- Chater Lea
- Belsize Motors
- James & Browne
Let’s explore List of Best Car Brands in UK in more depth.
Jaguar is a British car brand that was founded in 1922. It has been a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company since 1990 but still retains its own distinct and unique identity and presence within Ford.
Jaguar Cars Limited is currently headquartered in Whitley in Coventry, United Kingdom. They are most renowned for their luxury sports saloons, which usually feature strong performance with either V6 or V8 engines. They are also very successful in motorsport, especially rallying and racing, where they have had great success (and often with legendary driver Stirling Moss).
Jaguar is currently acquired by Tata Motors. The best part about Jaguar is the unique design of their cars each year. There are some models that are more popular than others but have had little to no changes since being released.
Here is how the Jaguar company evolved. Jaguar was first used by William Walmsley on his new car company’s radiator badge at the Dort Motor Show in Birmingham in 1923. A few of the top models manufactured by Jaguar are the Jaguar XJ, the Jaguar XKR and the Jaguar F Type.
Many people confuse Jaguar with its sister company Land Rover that manufactures 4x4s, which are both owned by Tata Motors. Jaguar is a luxury car marque, whereas Land Rover is an off-road and utility marque.
Jaguar is planning to expand their vehicle range with two new models to help them compete with other luxury car manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Land Rover is a world veteran in off-road driving. From the streets of London to the Kalahari desert, Land Rover has seen it all and yet remains one of the world’s most popular SUVs.
Land Rover is a British car brand that specializes in off-road vehicles and rough terrain transportation. It was founded in 1948 by Maurice Wilks, and he began building his first prototypes just after World War II. His brothers, Spencer and John, were working with him at this time, and they helped design the original Land Rovers. They featured four-wheel drive capabilities, which would later become very useful for traversing both urban and rural areas regardless of weather conditions or surface types (such as mud, sand, rock etc.). The cars changed ownership various times throughout their history, but today they are produced by Tata Motors (after it purchased the company from Ford in 2008).
The Land Rover models were designed to be large, strong and rugged. They are built to last a long time and withstand constant usage. It is said that they could go anywhere while maintaining high levels of comfort inside. Even though their design has changed throughout time, their trademark feature is still present on all new models manufactured today.
Since 1948 there have been many different Land Rover models released, but perhaps the most popular ones are the Defender, Discovery and Range Rover series.
Additionally, in terms of worldwide quality, the Range Rover is ranked second in 2014.
Mini is a small economy car that was first produced by the British Motor Corporation in 1959. It became a brand name for cars produced by BMW after the company was purchased by them in 1994. The more recent models of Mini are also built by other manufacturers, such as Vauxhall and Chinese-owned Nanjing Automobile Group Co, Ltd. One of its main rivals is the Fiat 500.
The Mini brand was started by the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in 1959. It was a very small car, and its concept almost mirrored that of the 2nd generation Ford Model T. The name ‘Mini’ came from BMC’s advertising agency, Mann & Overton, which had been instructed to come up with a new name for their latest product.
The suggestion they came up with was ‘mini’, a modern word in common use at the time, and the name stuck.
The idea for this new car developed from a 1951 design project headed by British Motor Corporation’s president Leonard Lord which aimed to build “the best small car in the world” at a low cost. The emphasis lay on rigidity rather than driver appeal – thus, the Mini was widely criticized for its comfort levels when launched but has subsequently been praised for its easy ability to be driven across difficult terrains such as snow or muddy roads.
A few models of the Mini were made with engines from other models such as MG and Morris, but all full-sized cars had their own unique engines. The car was built under license in several countries, including Spain, where it was manufactured under licence by Authi.
Aston Martin is a British sports car manufacturer founded in 1913. The marque has gone through many changes over the years, with its latest iteration manufacturing cars for the ultra-rich. Aston Martins are known for their luxury and style; they’re not typically used as sports cars like Porsches or Ferraris.
Aston Martin was established by Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin in 1913. There are conflicting reports about who is the real founder. The duo knew they could make equally luxurious cars on their own but didn’t have enough money to start their own company without an investor. They approached another fellow by the name of John Benson Brunner, whose surname they used for their new company’s moniker.
The first car made under the banner of Aston Martin was known simply as the “Coal Scuttle,” so named because it resembled a steam locomotive scuttle and only had three wheels. It debuted at the International Automobile Exhibition at Olympia in London and featured a four-cylinder engine. It would go on to be called “Britain’s Most Expensive Car” at the time because of its high asking price.
Although many cars were manufactured under the name “Aston Martin” between 1913 and the late 1920s, none are as significant as the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen — or “aerodynamic drop top.”
Overall, the early years of Aston Martin were successful. Their cars won the 24-hour Le Mans race in 1924, 1927, 1928 and 1929. They also won the first-ever economy run at an average speed of 87 mph in 1930. Aston Martin is now owned by Mercedes-Benz.
Bentley is a British luxury car company that was founded by brothers Walter Owen Bentley and Maurice Wilks. The first car they made was called the “3 Litre” as it was capable of doing 100 mph (160 kph) with 3 litres of engine capacity.
After the first car was made, they decided to rename it Bentley Motors. Bentley is currently an international brand and was awarded a Royal Warrant by King George VI in 1951.
The headquarters for Bentley is located in Crewe, England. The company has been headquartered there for over 50 years now and has made some iconic cars, including the “Continental GT”, which took them into a new market for modern-day supercars. They currently have a tie-in with Volkswagen.
Bentley is known for its luxurious and expensive cars. They made a Bentley Wagon for the Sultan of Brunei, and it set them back $13 million dollars. Bentley is known for making high-end luxury vehicles, and they will continue to do so in the future.
A few of the top models Bentley has produced are Bentley GT, Bentley Azure, Bentley Bentayga. Bentley sets a benchmark in the luxury car industry. Bentley has won many awards for its luxury vehicles.
Bentley’s most popular model is the “Continental GT”. Bentley now has a partnership with Volkswagen to produce new models. Bentley has been making cars since its inception in 1919 and continues to make high-end luxurious automobiles as evidenced through such models as the Continental GT, Mulsanne, Flying Spur, Bentayga SUV and more. That’s all about Bentley, folks!
Rolls Royce is the world’s second-largest maker of luxury cars after BMW AG. Rolls Royce is a British manufacturer of luxury cars that derives its name from the brand of a jet engine, and the Rolls-Royce Crecy car was named after the Battle of Crecy in 1346 when Sir John Hawkwood drove one into battle.
The company has been successful in making expensive or exclusive automobiles since 1906. Rolls Royces are generally regarded as one of the ultimate status symbols among automobiles because they are considered to be extremely powerful and luxurious with an imposing presence due to their size and design.
Rolls Royce Motors was started by Charles Stewart Rolls on August 15th, 1904. Rolls was a well known British car racer and winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1912 with Henry Royce as his riding mechanic.
Rolls met Royce after completing the first 30 miles of the 1910 automobile endurance run on England’s Brooklands track; Rolls was impressed by Royce’s powerful prototype 2-cylinder car and purchased it for use as his personal runabout and entered into a business partnership with him soon after to manufacture more such cars.
Rolls Royce is considered one of the world’s most prestigious cars and is often featured prominently in popular culture, including films such as Pretty Woman (1990), The Wraith (1986) and GoldenEye (1995).
Rolls Royce cars were also used in James Bond films Goldfinger (1964), Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and the latest film Skyfall (2012). That’s all, everything about Rolls Royce!
McLaren was founded by Ron Dennis CBE in 1989. It is a British Formula One team based at the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) in Woking, United Kingdom. McLaren competes in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship. In addition to Formula One, McLaren has competed and also won in the Canadian-American Challenge Cup and the Indianapolis 500.
McLaren cars are known for their fastest cars. McLaren is considered one of the best car manufacturers. McLaren is currently owned by McLaren Automotive & Mercedes-Benz. McLaren produced its most expensive and fastest McLaren F1 in 1992. McLaren F1 is one of the most expensive cars of all time, with a price tag of $2 million (1992).
McLaren F1 comes with a McLaren Mercedes V12 engine. McLaren F1’s top speed is 240 mph (386 kph). McLaren F1 can go from 0 – 60 mph (96.5 kph) in 3.2 seconds, and McLaren F1 can go from 0 – 100 mph (160.9 kph) in 6.3 seconds.
A few top models of McLaren are McLaren MP4/12, McLaren P1, McLaren 675LT, McLaren 675LT Spider. McLaren cars are very fast and luxurious. McLaren cars are driven by world-class drivers like Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton. McLaren cars are designed by the best car designers in the world like Frank Stephenson, Rob Melville.
That’s all about the McLaren supercar.
These were the top car brands from the United Kingdom. Now, apart from these top British automobile brands, there are several other old and new car brands from the United Kingdom.
Other active car brands in the United Kingdom:
AC Cars Ltd:
AC cars stand for Auto Carries. AC Cars Ltd is still active in the United Kingdom and manufactures limited-edition, traditional style, hand-crafted luxury automobiles. They are known to be the oldest British car manufacturer. This company was founded in 1901 and had been continuously producing cars for more than 110 years.
AC cars are best known for their two-seat sports cars. AC Cars Ltd is the first British car company that started to produce and sell sports cars.
AC cars have a long history of creating legendary sports cars. Some of the greatest 2-seat sports cars in automotive history were made by AC Cars: 1933 AC 10, 1934 AC 12 and 1949. The company was founded by the Weller brothers, who previously used to manufacture bicycles. The headquarters of AC cars Ltd is in Thames Ditton, United Kingdom. Several famous celebrities and well-known racing drivers have driven one of the AC cars: Lionel Martin, Sir Malcolm Campbell and David Brown.
They were trying to compete with the other automotive companies and launched their new model AC Cobra at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The new AC Cobra has a 4.6-litre V8 engine and can produce 526 horsepower. Currently, AC cars Ltd is not a part of any other car company, and they are still making their own cars. That’s a brief about AC Cars.
When we are talking about popular British car brands, how can we leave Asari Cars?
Ascari Cars Ltd:
Ascari cars are also a United Kingdom-based car manufacturing company. This company was founded in 1995, and they produced several legendary cars for racing, rally and circuit races. This company was founded by Mr. Klaas Zwart, and he is the owner of the famous Ascari House.
The headquarters of Ascari Cars Ltd is in Banbury, Oxfordshire. The company was named after a famous circuit in Ascari (Malaga). Ascari cars are also known to be the best sports racing cars in the world. They have won several races and championships, including the GT championship and 24 Hours of Le Man’s race. Their first car was an Ascari KZ1 which is an extreme racing car. This car has a V10 engine with 650 horsepower and can produce 650 Nm torque. The top speed of this car is 332 km/h (206 mph). This car has sold over 30 units in the world until now.
Ascari Ecosse was the first road-legal car that Ascari produced. This is a limited edition, and only a couple of units were made in 1999, and all these cars were sold in one hour.
Ascari TZ3 Stradale was another great production by Asari Cars Ltd. It has a V8 engine which can make up to 592 horsepower. They also launched Ascari A410, which is a roadster version of their legendary track car Ascari TZ3 Stradale. As you can guess by its name, it has a 4-litre V8 engine and produces 610 horsepower. A few top models that Ascari Cars Ltd produced: Ascari KZ1, Ascari A410 ,Ascari Ecosse and Ascari TZ3 Stradale.
The next one on the list of British car companies is Briggs Automotive Company (BAC). Let’s about this popular British car brand.
Briggs Automotive Company (BAC):
Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) was a British sports car company. This company was founded by brothers Neill and Ian Briggs in Liverpool, England. This company was established by them to produce sports cars for track racing.
This company was established in 2009 and is best known for producing BAC Mono. BAC Mono has a top speed of 185 mph, and it can produce 272 horsepower from its four-cylinder engine. Briggs Automotive Company is headquartered in Walsall, West Midlands.
BAC was a great sports car company. One of their famous models is BAC-009 which is the world’s fastest street-legal car. This car can make up to 1000 horsepower, which makes it one of the fastest cars ever made by any car brand, including Porsche or Ferrari. This company launched their first model in 2011, and it even appeared in the Need for Speed: Most Wanted video game.
The last car produced by BAC is called Mono Coupe Prototype, which has a V8 engine and can produce 500 horsepower. This is a rare sports car model today. A few top models that BAC produced are BAC-009, BAC- Mono, BAC- Monocoque Prototype and Mono Coupe Prototype.
This car company is known to produce one of the best fastest and powerful cars in the world. They are German by origin, but they became popular among British car lovers because their fastest cars are assembled in the United Kingdom. That’s why they are also called British car companies. That’s all about BAC.
Caterham Cars is a famous British car brand which was founded in the year 1963. They are best known for producing lightweight sports cars. Caterham currently owns another company called -The Lotus Group, which was founded by their former owner, Mr Colin Chapman.
This company is based in Crawley, Sussex, England. They focus on manufacturing three types of cars, including Formula One race cars, Touring cars for rally racing and road legal racing sports cars. Caterham launched their first model with the name of Seven, which was later improved by several other models like Super 7 & Superlight R300. The latest models that this company has produced are CSR 260, Coupé 4S, Caterham/300R, Caterham SP/300.R and Caterham SEVEN 480.
Some of the top models that Caterham produced are Super 7, Superlight R300, Seven 220R, CSR 260 and the latest one is Caterham SEVEN 480. A few years ago, Caterham even announced to sell their cars in America via an online video game- Need For Speed: Shift 2 Unleashed. This shows how great this company was for producing such kinds of racing sports cars, which were fast enough to be insured for selling through online games as NFS SHIFT 2 Unleashed. That’s what we have for Caterham Cars.
The next one on the British car brands list is TVR.
TVR is a famous British sports-car company which was established by Trevor Wilkinson in the year 1947. They are best known for producing lightweight, high-speed sports cars. This company was started as an attempt to revive the dying British sports-car manufacturer industry, and this is why they launched their first model with the name of TVR Tuscan. Some top models that this company produced are Cerbera Speed 12, Sagaris, Tamora, T350C and Tuscan Challenge.
This company was quite successful in producing lightweight sports cars for track racing. They were headquartered in Blackpool, Lancashire, before 2002, but later they moved to Whiteley, United Kingdom. However, they faced a great loss after the owner, Mr. Nikolay Smolensky, sold his company to new management and restructured it. This is why there were no proper cars produced by this company between 2004-2007.
TVR used to work with several other car manufacturers, including Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. One of the top models that this company produced is called Cerbera Speed 12, which is known to be the fastest model ever made by TVR.
TVR went bankrupt in 2006 and was later acquired by a Russian businessman. They announced that the newly acquired TVR would produce only 1000 cars per year which makes it even rarer than BAC Mono or Caterham Seven. This fact proves how good this car company was before their bankruptcy period in 2006/2007. That’s what we have for TVR Company.
Morgan Motor Company:
Established in 1910 by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan, Morgan is a famous British car manufacturer. They are best known for producing classic sports cars. This company has always tried to maintain its old fashioned design and style of traditional British sports cars.
Even though some people think that this company is outdated, but still it’s the oldest surviving British sportscar manufacturer today. This can be proved by the fact that this company never made any profit even after 100 years of their foundation because they make a very limited number of vehicles per year.
This company only manufactures three types of cars including Lightweight sportscar, Aero 8 series and the latest one is Aero Supersports. Some top models that this company manufactured are SuperSport, Morgan Plus 4, Aero SuperSports & Aero Coupe.
They are headquartered in Malvern Link, Worcestershire, England. Morgan was once very famous for cars like the Aero 8 series and SuperSport, which had a top speed of around 180 miles/hour. This car brand has always given its customers luxurious designs with moderate power under the hood. That’s what we have for this British car brands list today.
Lotus Cars manufactures sports cars and racing cars in the UK. Their production line started in 1962 with their Lotus Seven, which was based on an earlier model called the Europa Special. Although the company was founded by Colin Chapman, it has always been part of larger parent companies. Even today, although they are technically owned by Proton Holdings Berhad (a Malaysian car company), Lotus Cars are still headquartered out of Norfolk, England.
Lotus Cars are both a small company and well-established in the world of sports car manufacturing. It has, over its history, produced some of the most iconic cars the world has ever seen (e.g. Ford GT40). While they are not exactly one of the biggest players in their competitive market, it still holds up quite nicely to their competitors in terms of quality and performance standards. They do not produce very many cars per year; in fact, for each model, they only make about 800 units/year (which still makes them much larger than other sports car manufacturers like Noble).
Today, Lotus Cars are still continuing their business of producing sports cars. Their current lineup includes Elise, Exige, Evora, and the new 3-Eleven. The company has also recently unveiled plans to launch their newest model–the 4-Eleven–which will be released in 2017. I hope you enjoyed learning about Lotus Cars!
Ginetta is a British automotive manufacturer of racing and sports cars. Ginetta Cars are currently based in Garforth, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.
The company was founded in 1958 by the four Walklett brothers in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England, as Ginetta Engineering and began manufacturing car parts. During the early 1960s, they became involved in car racing, and this led them to develop and produce their own sports cars that were (and still are) unique and highly prized.
The first car produced by Ginetta was the G2, which had a body made of a hardwood frame with aluminium panels. Production took place in a small workshop in Pall Mall, Woodbridge. Around 100 were made and sold largely on the strength of their performance during racing. The G3 was introduced as, at the time, it was one of the best handling cars in Britain – which is significant as this ‘handling’ is now regarded as being fundamental to success in motorsport. Since then, Ginetta has moved from producing sports cars to producing lightweight racecars.
A few models have continued to bear the Ginetta name, including the G20 and G40. The last model which bore the Ginetta name was a 2011 concept known as the Ginetta F400. That’s all about Ginetta.
There are many car brands in the world, but it seems there are some that have been left behind. Now, we will look closely at non-active British car brands. These British car companies have played a great role in the past, and we hope they will be back at their best soon.
Alldays & Onions car company:
The Alldays & Onions car company was founded by L.B. Allday and I.H. Onions in 1897, beginning as a bicycle manufacturer before moving into automobiles in 1902.
They were headquartered in Birmingham, United Kingdom but were most noted for their handbuilt luxury cars using high-quality materials and techniques, which differentiated them from other manufacturers of the time.
In the early 1920s, they were producing up to 20 cars a week, but by mid-1933, there had been a steep decline in handbuilt car production and their range of models was reduced.
At the beginning of 1935, Alldays & Onions Ltd went into voluntary liquidation and was reformed as Alldays (Birmingham) Ltd. They continued to produce a small number of vehicles until 1940, when World War II put an end to most automobile manufacture.
This way, in 1934, the Alldays & Onions Car company stopped existing.
Chater-Lea was a motorcycle and bicycle manufacturing firm based in Letchworth, Hertfordshire. The firm produced automobiles between 1907 and 1922, as well as motorcycles from 1903 and 1935. The firm went bankrupt in 1922, but it did not manufacture automobiles. Later, in 1927, after William had died, his sons took control of Chater-Lea. However, owing to delays in production, the firm was unable to achieve its targets and went bankrupt, thus leading to its demise.
Belsize Motors was a Manchester-based automobile company. The firm’s origins date back to the 19th century when it began producing and selling bicycles. However, after partnering with Marshall & Company in 1901, it quickly developed its first car. The firm kept producing until after World War I when it released an automobile after the war that became very popular. However, owing to unknown reasons, the firm was compelled to shut down in 1925.
James and Browne:
James and Browne was a well-known automobile company based in Hammersmith, London. The business began producing automobiles in 1901 and was one of the first few to use steering wheels. However, in 1903, James and Browne produced a car that was the first to have an engine with two pistons. In 1907, however, the company suffered from financial difficulties and had to shut down.
British car brands can be identified by their quality and design. They are well known for manufacturing excellent vehicles, whether it is a small city runabout or a luxury limousine. They also manufactured many British made sports cars like Morgan Aero 8 and Mclaren F1, which became the dream car of car enthusiasts in the 1990s to 2000s. British approach when it comes to designing their cars has always been simple yet elegant. They focus more on designing their engines with the best efficiency possible, using a manual gearbox rather than an automatic one. These features make their British cars more efficient using petrol.
British car manufacturing industry is also known for their luxurious cars like Bentley and Rolls Royce; however, compared to BMW and Audi, who started creating luxury cars after World War II, these UK based companies have created these types of vehicles since the 1920s.
Out of all existing brands, Jaguar is one of the most successful British car companies. Before becoming a subsidiary of Tata Motors back, it was still under Ford’s full control.
With this complete article, I hope that I was able to give you a brief summary of Car Brands in UK and their success.