Prior to the 2020 Covid-19 crisis, Italy was one of the top five car manufacturing nations on Earth. At the time of writing it still remains to be seen how automobile industries world-wide and in the hard-hit Italy recover from this catastrophic event. However, the breakdown of Italian car brands should remain more or less the same for a number of years. We have some charts here representing the registrations of domestic cars in Italy at the end of 2019. It needs to be noted that Jeep has to be included in this chart because after the Chrysler-Fiat merger (or an acquisition of Chrysler by Fiat, really) this popular brand with production facilities in Italy technically became a domestic Italian brand.
One will immediately notice that there are only four brands that are responsible for the vast majority of domestic brand sales in Italy: Fiat, Jeep, Lancia and Alfa Romeo. All of these brands are actually part of FCA (the Fiat-Chrysler mega-corporation). Ferrari was also a part of this group until being spun off in 2006. There are strong indicators that another merger is looming, as FCA seeks to merge with the French automakers Groupe PSA. The only remaining major brand on the list, Lamborghini, barely escaped being under the FCA umbrella, because Chrysler owned this sports car outfit for about half a decade, starting in 1987.
Let’s briefly discuss each one of the Italian car brands, omitting Jeep which only got swept into the list as a result of corporate games. We will do so in a historic order. [Read more…] about Italian car brands: essential guide to domestic manufacturers in Italy