Italian Car Brands

Italian Car Brands

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

What are Italian car brands?

The main brands of Italian cars are Pagani, Mazzanti, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, Iveco, Abarth, Pininfarina, and Fioravanti. Among the defunct brands are De Tomaso, Bertone, Innocenti, Autobianchi, Iso, Bizzarrini, OSCA, Cisitalia, Diatto, Cizeta, and Fornasari.

Now, the contribution of the automotive industry to the country’s GDP is about 8.5%. The market is led by Fiat, which owns such popular brands as Maserati, Lancia, and Alfa Romeo. Italian-made cars have repeatedly won the “World Car of the Year” award and, more often than not, received the prestigious title of “European Car of the Year.”

Supercar Brands

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


Pagani Logo

Pagani is an independent company founded by Horatio Pagani. Its creator dreamed of supercars from childhood and already, 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 Horatio three recommendations to prestigious companies. As a result, the engineer got a job at the Automobili Lamborghini factory, where he suggested using carbon instead of lightweight plastic. To realize his projects, he founded Pagani Composite Research, a composite materials company.

In the 1990s, Horatio decided to create his own supercar and invested all the funds in the construction of the Pagani Automobili factory. He named the first model Zonda and introduced it in 1999. Since 2017, Horacio Pagani’s headquarters, factory, design studio, showroom, museum, and apartments are located in one building in Modena.


Mazzanti Logo

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

Luxury Sports Car Brands

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


Ferrari Logo

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


Lamborghini Logo

The brand of ultra-expensive fast cars Lamborghini 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 owner of a factory for the production of tractors based on military equipment. It is rumored that he quarreled with Enzo Ferrari when the latter noticed the shortcomings of his Ferrari and suggested improving it. Enzo did not accept the criticism and advised Ferruccio to continue with tractors or make something better. So Lamborghini began to produce luxury sports cars that surpassed Ferrari in all parameters.


Maserati Logo

Maserati was founded by brothers who were passionate about cars. They started their business in 1914, but the first sports car, the Gran Prix 1500, was produced only 12 years later. After that, racing cars for competition were produced under the Maserati brand. Everything changed in the 1960s when the company’s management decided to shift the emphasis to luxury cars. Thus, Mexico and Quattroporte models appeared. Then, the no less successful Spyder GT and 3200 GT were added to them.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo Logo

Alfa Romeo is a luxurious and roomy sports car with a rich history. The company that owns this brand was established in 1910 on the basis of the French automobile factory Darracq. At the same time, the company moved from a settlement near Naples to the suburbs of Milan. The first part of the name Alfa Romeo 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. Currently, the brand belongs to the Italian-American company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V.

Other Brands

The Italian automobile industry is at a high level of development. These are both expensive luxury brands on the market and manufacturers of cars of other price categories. One of these companies accounts for 90% of annual production. We are talking about the Fiat concern. Also popular are many companies that do not belong to Fiat – for example, Iveco, which produces buses and trucks.


Fiat Logo

Two major divisions represent the Fiat Group. One of them (Fiat Industrial) is engaged in the production of industrial machinery, and the second (Fiat SpA) is focused on the production of passenger cars. This ancient enterprise was founded in 1899 and produced various machinery – from tractors and railroad 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

The Lancia plant is located in the suburbs of Turin. It produces comfortable business-class city cars. Since 2017, the Lancia brand has been represented by only one model, Ypsilon, which is sold exclusively in the Italian car market. In addition to passenger cars, the company previously produced special vehicles, military equipment, buses, trolleybuses, and commercial trucks. Currently, the owner of the company is Fiat S.p.A.


Iveco Logo

Iveco company was formed in 1975 by a group of companies, which included Magirus-Deutz and various divisions of Fiat. In subsequent years, it was joined by automobile plants ITAL (Australia), Pegaso and ENASA (Spain), Astra (Italy), and Ford (British division). The first transport of the automobile concern appeared in 1978. Since then, the era of trucks produced under the Iveco brand began. Now, the company belongs to CNH Industrial, and until 2013, it was owned by Fiat.


Abarth Logo

Abarth is engaged in refining various Fiat mechanisms and creating modernized cars on their basis. At first, it was a small factory for the production of mufflers and exhaust systems. It was founded in 1949 by a passionate motorsport enthusiast, Carlo Abarth. In the 1950s, the company began producing small sports cars.


Pininfarina Logo

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


Fioravanti Logo

Fioravanti was formerly an architectural firm that designed city building projects in Japan. In 1991, the company abruptly changed its priorities to designing automobiles. This is due to the fact that the founder of Fioravanti was once an employee of Pininfarina and, for 24 years, created concept cars for various manufacturers.

Defunct Car Brands

Many Italian automakers have gone under. These include Iso, Bertone, Innocenti, and the famous De Tomaso automobile company, which once owned the Maserati and Moto Guzzi brands. In 1995, the small car brand Autobianchi, founded by automobile industry giants Fiat, Pirelli, and Bianchi, entered the market. The company Bizzarrini, which existed for five years (until 1969) and produced sports cars, has been long forgotten. Little longer, which produced racing and sports cars, but about the same time (1967), it was liquidated.

De Tomaso

De Tomaso Logo

De Tomaso Automobili SpA was founded in 1959 and named after the entrepreneur who created it. The first models were racing cars designed specifically for participation in championships. Serial production of sports cars began only in 1963. By this time, the owner of the company gathered a strong team around him, which included the chief designer of Ghia and former employees of Ferrari. In addition, De Tomaso Automobili SpA owned the popular Maserati brand (until 1992).

At the end of the XX century, the company began to lose ground. It fell into decline, after which it was bought out by Gian Mario Rossignol. The new owner wanted to revive the company, for which he received 7.5 million euros. He was detained on suspicion of misuse of budgetary funds. The court again recognized De Tomaso as bankrupt. The brand is remembered for its badge, which is in the form of two symmetrical figures, similar to the letters “G.”

BertoneBertone Logo

When creating cars, the Italian company Bertone paid special attention to their appearance since its second specialty is body design. It was engaged in styling some models of Volvo, Opel, Mercedes Benz, Lamborghini, Fiat, and other famous brands. In 2014, Stile Bertone’s design division went bankrupt. Now, the rights to the brand and the logo with the stylized letter “b” belong to several entrepreneurs. The company Bertone still exists but has significantly expanded the scope of its activities. It produces railway transport, works in the fashion industry, and is engaged in industrial and architectural design.


Innocenti Logo

Innocenti was founded by a blacksmith and named in his honor. It was engaged in the production of cars, motorcycles, machine tools, and presses. Success in the automobile industry was variable: Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Lancia led the Italian automobile market. The first car under Innocenti’s own brand was produced in 1960. It was a sports convertible. In the 1990s, the company became part of the Fiat concern. The new owner liquidated the brand in 1997, stopping production of all Innocenti models. The defunct company used a logo with a bold “i” inside a black ring.


Autobianchi Logo

Autobianchi was a joint project between Fiat, Pirelli, and Bianchi. The three Italian companies teamed up to co-produce small cars, testing innovative concepts on them. The brand used an emblem in the form of a large black triangle divided in half and outlined with a dark line. Autobianchi cars were sold in Italy until 1996, after which the brand was discontinued in 1995. It became part of the Lancia company.


Iso Logo

The car manufacturing company Iso had different names at different times, but shortly before its closure in 1974, it was known as Iso Motors. It began by selling heaters, then moved into two-wheeled vehicles. In 1962, the manufacturer limited its product range to focus on passenger cars. At the same time, it produced its very first automobile much earlier – in 1953. It was something between a motorcycle and a microlight car. For a number of socio-economic reasons, the company stopped production in 1974. However, in 2017, the Zagato design center revived the Iso brand, giving a second life to its logo with a golden griffin inside a shaped shield on a background of two vertical lines of red and green colors.


Bizzarrini Logo

Bizzarrini, a racing and sports car company, was founded by Giotto Bizzarrini. The Italian engineer, a former employee of Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Automobili Turismo e Sport, created his own company in 1964. He ended his collaboration with Iso because he wanted to produce sports cars. The success was short-lived: the Bizzarrini company closed in 1969. Later, developers tried to bring back the brand and produced single models with its logo: a spiky red circle that depicted a bird taken in a ring of the words “BIZZARRINI LIVORNO.” The rights to the brand and its legacy were eventually acquired by Pegasus Brands.



OSCA’s debut project was the development of a competitive racing car. All subsequent models were the same, with the manufacturer increasing the power and speed of its sports cars, which gave it an edge when competing in championships. In 1963, the company was sold to Domenico Agusta and went into decline four years later. Its intricate multi-part logo contained a coat of arms in a silver circle, which was surrounded by a blue ring with the inscription “O.S.C.A. FRATELLI MASERATI BOLOGNA. ”


Cisitalia Logo

The first Cisitalia car was created from Fiat parts in 1946. The company then moved away from the original concept and started producing models with original designs and technical know-how. Throughout its existence, it produced several thousand sports cars that took part in races. However, its successful promotion was hindered by financial insolvency: Cisitalia went bankrupt in 1963. The company’s cars were easily recognized by the emblem with a golden mountain goat inside a blue heraldic shield.


Diatto Logo

Diatto began manufacturing automobiles under license from Clément-Bayard in 1905. However, its history dates back to 1835. At first, under the Diatto brand, carriages were produced, then they were replaced by railroad cars. At the end of its existence, the manufacturer focused on cars of its own design. The last models came off the assembly line in 1929. They were decorated with an oval emblem of red color with white inscription DIATTO and a rim of gold color, consisting of many circles.


Cizeta Logo

The history of Cizeta began in 1988 when Claudio Zampolli teamed up with Giorgio Moroder to create a new supercar. At first, their venture was successful, but serial production was not established, and the investment in the project far exceeded the proceeds from sales. Later, it turned out that Cizeta cars did not meet safety requirements, so they could not be operated in the United States. Production was stopped, and the stylish blue-yellow logo with three jaguar heads in a circle and the inscription “CIZETA AUTOMOBILI” never became public.


Fornasari Logo

The Italian automaker was founded in 1999 and ceased operations in 2015. The company was headquartered in Montebello Vicentino, Vicenza province, where it was founded by Giuseppe Fornasari. He gave the brand his family name, emphasizing sports cars and SUVs. However, the manufacturer could not withstand the competition and went bankrupt: in the fall of 2015, the Tribunal of Vicenza declared the company insolvent.

What cars are from Italy?

The Italian automotive industry is represented by supercars, luxury sports cars, passenger cars, military, heavy-duty and commercial vehicles, business-class vehicles, and electric vehicles.

What is the most popular Italian car?

There is a great demand for medium and small cars in Italy because city dwellers use them. In 2020 and 2021, the best-selling city car Fiat Panda was recognized as the best European car in 2004.

How many car brands are Italian?

According to the latest data, there are more than a hundred car brands in Italy, although many remain in the shadow of major manufacturers.

What is an Italian luxury car?

The luxury segment of Italian cars is dominated by sports cars, designed not only for racing but also for everyday use. Their manufacturers are Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Alfa Romeo.