European Automobile Industry

European Automobile Industry

European Automobile Industry


Europe is one of the world’s biggest producers of automobiles. The automobile sector of Europe is one of the highly growing sectors and has contributed significantly in the growth of Europe’s economy. It accounts for giving maximum jobs, high income and represent a large portion of continent’s export. For Europe’s prosperity growth of the automobile sector is important. The connection of Europe and cars goes long back. In fact, France and Germany were the nations who put forward the blueprint of the modern automobile industry in the late nineteenth century.

It was German car engineer, Carl Benz who manufactured the world’s first automobile. The 1901, Wilhelm Maybach designed Mercedes for Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft, which became the first modern motorcar in all aspects. The car has a thirty-five-horsepower engine that weighed only fourteen pounds per horsepower, and achieved a speed of 50mph.

Europe’s auto industry is recognized for its excellent automobile industry and outstanding engineering. European automakers are known for producing one of the best performing and handling vehicles. Some car enthusiasts prefer tight handling nature of vehicles while some love high level of luxury, which is common on many European models. These cars give special feel and look, and a dream to drive. With the design and engineering, European makers stand out of remaining ones and a perfect difference between the designing of European and American automobiles was illustrated by first Mercedes model and Ransom E. Olds’s model during 1901-1906.


During World War I, use of vehicles shifted towards military purposes. European automakers also started producing vehicles chiefly for transport and supply. The end of World War I severely affected the Germany’s automobile industry and its economy. During the period of 1919 to 1939, European automobile industry experienced significant growth. The industry followed the footsteps of American automobile industry, i.e., it started the mass market for vehicles. From 1922 to 1929, European automobile industry produced significant numbers of vehicles, although the manufacturers decreased from 90 to 41. The British automobile market during 1929 was controlled by three major companies- Austin, Morris and Singer. While in France, the automobile productions that emerged were Peugeot, Renault and Citroën in the 1920s. After the death of André Citroën, the company came under Michelin Tire.


After World War II, Europe began to export its vehicles to reinstate war-shattered economies. For example, Britain restricted domestic purchases for many years after the war. It even led to merging of Morris and Austin in 1952 to form the British Motor Corporation, Ltd. Another merging was around Leyland Motors that emerged as one of the country’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles. In 1968, Leyland and British Motor Corporation united to form British Leyland Motor Corporation, which became British Leyland Ltd. and Later in 1978 became BL Ltd.


The European Union is the world’s biggest manufacturer of automobiles, with around 18 million vehicles produced within a year only. The automobile industry provided momentum to the economy of many European countries. The industry is the largest job provider to extremely skillful labors and is a key driver of the continent’s innovation and knowledge. Europe’s five biggest automobile manufacturing regions are Germany, France, Italy, the UK and Spain. Out of all European automakers, Germany is the vehicle production leader.



European automakers have always focused attention on styling, performance and other features such as disc brakes, leather seats, fuel injection, turbo diesel engine. Along with the major producer of the best performing and handling vehicles, Europe also leads in the production of clean vehicle by using less quantities of water and energy for vehicle manufacturing and as a result less emission of waste and CO2 produced. Europe’s cars, vans, trucks and buses are known for being the cleanest, safest and quietest in the world.


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