The history of the Italian automotive industry dates back to 1880s. At one point in the 1910s, there were more than 15 different automobile manufacturers only in the city of Turin. However, most of these companies could not resist the strong commercialized international competition as some firms heavily scaled production facilities to offer cars at competitive prices. At the moment, the Italian automotive industry is mostly known for small city cars, special designed sports and supercars. The automotive manufacturing industry in the country is composed of many small and medium-sized (SME) manufacturers and dominated by Fiat. Once Italian, Fiat merged with the American Chrysler, making Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in 2014. As the number of internationally dominant car manufacturing firms declined, Italy somewhat lost its position in the global passenger car market. In terms of motor vehicle production volume, Italy was the seventh-largest auto manufacturer in Europe in 2019. Although the motor vehicle production volume in Italy increased continuously until 2017, the Italian automobile manufacturing industry entered into a somewhat recessionary stage after 2017. In 2019, the Italian automotive production experienced a 9.3 percent decline.
Luxury and supercars made in Italy
Although the Italian automobile firms lost the international position for passenger cars, the opposite is true for luxury and sports cars. Italian automotive firms remain leaders in the field of car design and technology. Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati are some of the global leaders from Italy in the luxury and supercar market with an improving manufacturing and corporate performance. For instance, car shipments made by Ferrari increased with a positive trend from 2011 to 2019, reaching over 10,000 shipments in 2019. Compared to Ferrari, Lamborghini experienced an even stronger growth path since 2009. Lamborghini increased the number of vehicle deliveries by at least six times during the most recent decade.
Leading automobile manufacturers
The leading firms in the automobile industry offer technologically advanced cars that are highly competitive in terms of both costs and comfort for the households. Throughout the recent years, the long-term innovation strategy of international car brands, such as Volkswagen, Citroen or Dacia took over the declining demand for Fiat cars and improved their market position in the Italian car market. One should also consider the shift towards more environmentally friendly transportation means and the market for electric cars are on the horizon not only in Italy but also globally. Despite the fact that the number of electric cars in Italy only make a very marginal portion of the total market, there has been a steep rise since 2017. Between 2017 and 2019, the market share of electric cars in Italy increased six times, yet only making 0.6 percent of the total market. Companies that offer environmental friendly passenger cars at an affordable price with premium quality are expected to enhance the market share in Italy.
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