Also, in 1983, "out of the blue" BL Cars received an offer from General Motors to buy Jaguar. Egan writes: "I knew from my previous life with GM that you had to go to the top if you wanted a vision that lasted longer than the 12-month budget". Egan concluded it was better to go independent and managed to convince Norman Lamont, Chief Secretary to the Treasury. The Cabinet agreed with Egan but with the proviso that a Golden Share should be put in place. Egan writes: "With that, he (Lamont) told me to deny any discussions had taken place, to put my hard hat on, and await events." And with that Jaguar was privatised, but not before the little matter of the Jaguar name was settled. Egan discovered the Jaguar name was owned by a company in Pakistan making tennis racquets. It also had a smart sports bag in British Racing Green with a leaping Jaguar logo imprinted in gold. "So we bought the company, and the sports bag eventually became the leading sports bag in the UK," writes Egan proudly.
As is now well known, after some 10 years at the helm, Egan reluctantly began talks with Ford Motor Company after first discussing a possible deal with General Motors (GM). The GM deal would be difficult.
By John Mortimer, author of The ‘nearly’ engine – the story of the automotive gas turbine, and Angel in the house.