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Italian Car Brands

Italian Car Brands

The Italian car industry’s history began in the 1880s, when Enrico Zeno Bernardi invented the internal combustion engine, almost simultaneously with Karl Benz. The engineer installed the internal combustion engine on his son’s tricycle and his daughter’s sewing machine, and the manufacturers were able to create motor vehicles. After that, one after another, automobile enterprises began to appear. They produced the first of their kind models FIAT, Renault, and the lesser-known Junior, Itala, and others.

Now the contribution of the automotive industry to the country’s GDP is about 8.5%. The Fiat group leads the market, which owns such popular brands as Maserati, Lancia, and Alfa Romeo. Cars made in Italy have won the World Car of the Year award many times and received the prestigious European Car of the Year title more often than others.

Supercar Brands

Their exclusive equipment distinguishes Italian supercars. These are sports cars with increased power and record speed. They are based on professional racing models but belong to the road sports car sector. In Italy, there are not only small firms that have created one or two hand-assembled supercars but also large enterprises specializing in the serial production of such cars. These include Pagani and Mazzanti.

Pagani logo

Pagani (1992-Present)

Pagani is an independent company founded by Horacio Pagani. Its creator dreamed of supercars since childhood and, at the age of 21, made a car for Formula 3. Five-time champion Juan Manuel Fangio was so impressed with the work that he gave Horacio three recommendations to prestigious companies. As a result, the engineer got a job at the Automobili Lamborghini plant, where he proposed using carbon instead of lightweight plastic. To pursue his projects, he founded Pagani Composite Research, a composite materials company.

In the 1990s, Horacio decided to make his supercar and then invested all the money in constructing the Pagani Automobili plant. He named the first model Zonda and introduced it in 1999. Since 2017, the headquarters, factory, design studio, showroom, museum, and Horacio Pagani apartments are located in the same building in Modena.

Mazzanti logo

Mazzanti (2002-Present)

The most powerful Italian supercar’s title belongs to the Evantra Millecavalli, produced by Mazzanti in 2016. This model has bypassed the LaFerrari hybrid hypercar. The automaker is named after Luca Mazzanti, who opened a small workshop with Walter Faralli in 2002. At first, their enterprise was known as Faralli & Mazzanti, but then the business partners split them into two parts. Luca focused on the Evantra project: the brand’s first full-size machine was developed in 2012.

Luxury Sports Car Brands

One of the most developed segments of the automotive industry in Italy is luxury sports cars’ production. Such models are suitable not only for racing competitions but also for fast movement on highways. The fashion for luxury appeared thanks to the firms that produce world-famous cars: Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari. They occupy leading positions in various ratings and at international car dealerships.

Ferrari logo

Ferrari (1947-present)

Ferrari positions itself as a manufacturer of ultra-reliable sports cars that develop very high speed. It gets its name from the Italian designer Enzo Anselmo Giuseppe Maria Ferrari, who previously worked as a race car driver at Alfa Romeo. The first cars of the brand were exclusively racing. They became famous because they won prizes in competitions in the 1950-1960s. The current lineup includes luxury sports cars for fast urban driving. Currently, the parent company of Ferrari is the Exor NV holding from the Netherlands.

Lamborghini logo

Lamborghini (1963-Present)

The Lamborghini brand of super-expensive high-speed cars belongs to the Italian company Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., which is part of the Volkswagen Group through Audi AG. The founder of this brand is Ferruccio Lamborghini, the factory owner to manufacture tractors based on military equipment. Rumor has it that he fell out with the Enzo Ferrari when he noticed his Ferrari’s shortcomings and offered to improve it. Enzo did not take the criticism and advised Ferruccio to continue with tractors or do something better. So Lamborghini began to produce luxury sports cars that surpass Ferrari in every way.

Maserati logo

Maserati (1914-Present)

Maserati was founded by brothers who were passionate about cars. They started their own business in 1914 but did not release the first Gran Prix 1500 sports car until 12 years later. After that, under the Maserati brand, racing cars for competitions were made. That all changed in the 1960s when management decided to shift their focus to luxury cars. This is how the Mexico and Quattroporte models were born. Then the equally successful Spyder GT and 3200 GT were added to them.

Alfa Romeo logo

Alfa Romeo (1910-Present)

Alfa Romeo is a luxurious and spacious sports car with a rich history. The company that owns this brand was created in 1910 based on the French Darracq car factory. At the same time, the company moved from a settlement near Naples to a suburb of Milan. The first part of Alfa Romeo’s name comes from the abbreviation A.L.F.A. and stands for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. One of the best sports cars of this brand is the GTV model, which appeared in the 1990s. The brand is now owned by the Italian-American firm Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Other Brands

The Italian auto industry is at a high level of development. It is expensive luxury brands represented on the market and manufacturers of vehicles in other price categories. One of these companies accounts for 90% of the annual production. We are talking about the Fiat concern. Also, many non-Fiat businesses are popular -for example, Iveco, which produces buses and trucks.

Fiat logo

Fiat (1899-Present)

Two large divisions represent concern Fiat Group. One of them (Fiat Industrial) is engaged in the production of industrial vehicles, and the second (Fiat SpA) is focused on the production of passenger cars. This ancient enterprise was founded in 1899 and manufactured various equipment – from tractors and railway cars to military aviation. Now the company specializes in commercial vehicles, and its industrial sites are located in many countries around the world.

Lancia logo

Lancia (1906-Present)

Lancia plant is located in the suburbs of Turin. Comfortable city business class cars are produced there. Since 2017, the Lancia brand is represented by only one Ypsilon model, which is available exclusively in the Italian car market. In addition to passenger cars, the company previously produced special vehicles, military equipment, buses, trolleybuses, and commercial trucks. The current owner of the company is Fiat S.p.A.

Iveco logo

Iveco (1975-Present)

Iveco was formed in 1975 by a group of companies that includes Magirus-Deutz and various divisions of Fiat. In subsequent years, it was joined by car factories ITAL (Australia), Pegaso and ENASA (Spain), Astra (Italy), Ford (British division). The first own transport of the automotive concern appeared in 1978. From that moment on, the era of trucks produced under the Iveco brand began. The company is owned by CNH Industrial and was owned by Fiat until 2013.

Abarth logo

Abarth (1949-Present)

Abarth is engaged in tuning various Fiat mechanisms and creating modernized cars based on them. At first, it was a small factory for the production of mufflers and exhaust systems. Passionate motorsport enthusiast Carlo Abarth founded it in 1949. In the 1950s, the enterprise started manufacturing small-scale sports cars.

Pininfarina logo

Pininfarina (1930-Present)

Pininfarina is an Italian company named after its creator, Giovanni Battista Farina, nicknamed Pinin (“little brother”). Since 1930, the company has been designing and manufacturing bodies for passenger cars. Many automakers work with him, including Ferrari. In 2009, Pininfarina entered the electric car market with the concept of an electric sports car.

Fioravanti logo

Fioravanti (1987-Present)

Fioravanti was formerly an architecture firm that developed construction projects for cities in Japan. In 1991, the company sharply changed its priorities, taking up the design of vehicles. This is because the founder of Fioravanti was once an employee of Pininfarina and has been creating concept cars for various manufacturers for 24 years.

Defunct Car Brands

Many car manufacturers in Italy are a thing of the past. Iso, Bertone, Innocenti, and renowned car manufacturer De Tomaso, which once owned the Maserati and Moto Guzzi brands, are among them. Until 1995, the small car brand Autobianchi, founded by the automotive industry giants Fiat, Pirelli, and Bianchi, was introduced to the market. The company Bizzarrini, which existed for five years (until 1969) and manufactured piece sports cars, has long been forgotten. The OSCA corporation, a manufacturer of racing and sports cars, ran a little longer but was liquidated around the same time (1967).

De Tomaso logo

De Tomaso

1959-2015
Racing Cars

Bertone logo

Bertone

1912-2014
Automotive

Innocenti logo

Innocenti

1947-1997
Automobiles

Autobianchi logo

Autobianchi

1955-1995
Small Cars

Iso logo

Iso

1953-1974
Automotive

Bizzarrini logo

Bizzarrini

1964-1969
Racing, Sports Cars

OSCA logo

OSCA

1947-1967
Sports Cars, Racing Cars

Cisitalia logo

Cisitalia

1946-1963
Racing, Sports Cars

Diatto logo

Diatto

1905-1929
Manufacturer

Cizeta logo

Cizeta

1988
Hand-built Cars