When we hear European, we mostly think of only tourist spots like France, Spain, Italy, Germany, and many more countries. But did you know that Europe is also famous for its car manufacturing brands?
Yes, European countries have manufactured some of the best automobiles since the 20th century. These brands are also known for their style, performance, and reliability.
Best European Car Brands In 2022
Opel Automobile GmbH, which is shortened to Opel, is an automobile manufacturer from Germany that was started in the year 1862. It is a subdivision of the Stellantis N.V. manufacturing corporation.
After the death of Opel, the company started the production of automobiles. The first motor car was manufactured in 1899 and sold only 65 models. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Opel Kadett E
- Opel Omega A
- Opel Insignia
- Opel Ampera
- Opel Astra K
Established in the year 1931, Porsche is an automobile manufacturer from Germany. The company is a subdivision of Volkswagen AG.
The brand is known for producing high-performing sports cars, sedans, and SUVs. Porsche is the top automobile manufacturer in Europe with more than a century’s experience in innovation.
The luxury label is known for its smooth handling and powerful motor, delivering cars that drive, mainly on country routes and highways.
If you are looking for an affordable luxury car along with some feeling of enjoyment behind the wheel, then Porsche is worth your watch. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- 911 Carrera RS
- 986 Boxster
- 918 Spyder
- Cayenne SUV
Started in the year 1922 by William Lyons as Swallow Sidecar Company. Jaguar was initially involved in the manufacturing of motorcycle sidecars. In 1935, it got its name Jaguar, and since then, the brand has been manufacturing passenger cars.
Just like its name, the brand is known for producing some of the best-sophisticated cars in the world.
Jaguar has not only had great success in the manufacturing of passenger cars but also in the world of racing cars. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Jaguar C-Type
- Jaguar XJS TWR
- Jaguar XJ220
- Jaguar XJR-X300
- Jaguar XJR-V8
Delage is a luxury car and race car brand that was launched in the year 1905. It is a French automobile manufacturer that Louis Delâge founded. Initially, the company only manufactured components and assembled the body for the brand Helbé.
The model sold over 1000 cars. With its success, Delage decided to manufacture larger vehicles with front brakes. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Delage DI SS
- Delage DML
- Delage GL
- Delage DR
- Delage DI 12
Automobile Ettore Bugatti, also known as Bugatti, was launched in 1909. It is a German automobile manufacturer founded by the famous industrialist Ettore Bugatti. The cars are known for their high performance, design, and race victories.
With the death of its founder, that company was sold to an Italian entrepreneur in 1987, who renamed it Bugatti Automobili SpA. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Type 35 Grand Prix
- Type 41 “Royale”
- Type 57 “Atlantic”
- Type 55
- Type 50B
BMW, widely known as the Bayerische Motoren Werke, was founded in 1916. It is a German-made multinational company that produces luxury vehicles. Initially, the brand started as an aircraft engine manufacturer until the end of the second world.
After which, the brand started manufacturing motorcycles, luxury, and sports cars. The introduction of compact, mid-size luxury sedans made the brand’s reputation as a top manufacturer of vehicles. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Series M Coupe
- BMW M1
- BMW E30 M3
- M5 E39
- BMW i8
Volvo Cars group, launched in 1927, is a Swedish multinational automobile manufacturer. The brand is known for producing luxury SUVs, sedans, and station wagons.
Safety is the primary marketing argument for the brand. The buses, Heavy trucks, and construction equipment manufacturing are separate from the cars group.
Volvo cars are known for their high-tech safety approaches, which are standard in all its models. Even before the government safety rules, the brand has been at the forefront of safety. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Volvo XC40
- Volvo XC90 II
- Volvo V90 II
- Volvo XC60 II
- Volvo V60 II
Launched in 1937, Volkswagen is one of the top European car brands. It is a German automobile manufacturer founded by the German Labour Front. Volkswagen, which means the people’s car, has kept up its name by being the top seller in the automobile market.
The company also owns some of the top leading car brands like Porsche AG, Skoda AS, and Audi AG. The brand is also known for its earlier introduction to hybrid cars.
With its achievement in electric cars and self-driving technology, the company is currently exploring flying vehicles. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Golf GTI series
Launched in 1963, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. is a luxury SUV and sports car Italian manufacturer. The brand has been under the Volkswagen Group via its subdivision Audi since 1998. It was started by an Italian manufacturing tycoon Ferruccio Lamborghini to compete against Ferrari.
Within the first few years of the launch, the brand increased and was known for its back-center engine and back-wheel drive design. But due to the world financial crisis and the oil crisis, it had to change its ownership three times.
After 1998, the brand introduced many new model lines, which increased the usage of the brand’s car, making it the top luxury sports car. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Essenza SCV12
- SC18 Alston
Maserati S.p.A. was launched in 1914 by Alfieri Maserati. It is an Italian luxury car manufacturer, having its headquarters in Modena. Since the year 2021, the brand has been under Stellaris. Before that, it was a subdivision of the brand Ferrari.
The brand has participated in many races, such as Formula One, touring car racing, and sportscar racing, as teams and individual entrants. The brand is known for selling more than seventy-five thousand SUVs (the first SUV of Maserati). Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
Škoda Auto a.s., usually clipped to Škoda, is a subdivision of Volkswagen AG. It is a Czech automobile manufacturer that was founded in 1925. The brand is known for manufacturing buses, cars, and other commercial vehicles.
With sales in more than 100 countries and central manufacturing facilities in more than four countries, Skoda is one of the top-selling cars in all five segments.
The brand is also known for producing cars in all five segments: Luxury Cars, MPVs, SUVs, sedans, and Sports Cars. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Rapid super mini coupe
- Skoda Octavia
- Skoda Yeti
- Skoda Citigo
S C. Automobile Dacia S.A., generally called Dacia, was launched in 1966. It is a Romanian car manufacturing brand grounded by the Romanian government. Later in the year 1999, the government of Romania sold the unit to Groupe Renault, which is a French car manufacturer.
It started with basic design and tools, and later the company produced cars with better powerful engines for the police and racing. After its acquisition by Renault, the first model sold became the most successful car since its launch. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Dacia Duster
- Dacia Logan
- Dacia Sandero Stepway
- Dacia Spring Electric
- Dacia Jogger
Bentley Motors Limited, a subdivision of the Volkswagen Group since 1998, is a British manufacturer. The brand was launched in 1919 by W. O. Bentley.
The brand is well known for producing luxury SUVs and cars. The brand instantly became famous for winning the Le Mans race five times.
Now the company is one of the leading luxurious and sophisticated cars on the roads that cannot be compared with any other car on the market. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Bentley 4½ Litre
- Bentley Speed Six
- Bentley R Type
- Bentley Turbo R
- Bentley Arnage
Peugeot was founded in 1810 by Armand Peugeot as a family that started as a steel foundry to produce kitchen equipment.
Now the brand is a subdivision of the French automobile company Stellantis. In 1890, the brand manufactured its first three-wheeled steam car and an engine from Panhard-Daimler.
After the world war, the brand manufactured cars with high technology, leading to a new sales record. With more models following, Peugeot is one of the most famous cars for receiving six European Car of the Year awards. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Peugeot 504
- Peugeot 405
- Peugeot 307
- Peugeot 3008
- Peugeot 208
Citroën, launched in the year 1919, is a French automobile company. André Citroën founded the “Automobiles Citroën” company, and later in the year 2021, it was taken over by Stellantis. The brand is known for its first innovative technology, mass-producing, load-bearing structure, and unibody construction.
With the introduction of many advanced features, Citroën has received many international, national, and European Car of the Year awards. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Citroën GS
- Citroën CX
- Citroën XM
- Citroën SM
- Citroën ZX
McLaren Automotive, which was previously known as McLaren Cars, was launched in the year 1985. It is a British luxury automobile manufacturer that Ron Dennis founded. Supercars are the primary products of the brand, and all of them are produced in their production facilities.
The first car built was the F1, a purpose-built road car. Later in the year 2017, the McLaren Group wholly owned the McLaren Automotive company. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Citroën GS
- Citroën CX
- Citroën XM
- Citroën SM
- Citroën ZX
17. Aston Martin
Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC, launched in 1913, is a British manufacturer. Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin founded it. It is known for its sports cars and tourers with high-quality engineering and style.
Today, the brand is tagged as one of the leading car manufacturers in the European market and the world.
All the models are no less luxurious and sophisticated options that come with an impressive engine and outstanding features. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Vanquish S
- Aston Martin Vulcan.
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited, a family-owned business launched in 1998, is a British automobile manufacturer. In the year 203, the brand became a subdivision of BMW AG. All the cars manufactured are known for their luxurious and sophisticated handmade details.
The brand is also known for its extensive product line that is inclusive of the two-door coupé, smaller Ghost, Cullinan SUV, and convertible Dawn. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Phantom III
- Phantom Convertible Coupe
- Silver Ghost
- Silver Shadow
Mini was launched in 1959 by the British Motor Corporation (BMC). The car was trendy in Britain for its space-saving engine, floorplan area, and front-wheel drive setup. It was also voted the most significant vehicle of the 20th century.
The sports versions were also very successful, as it has won many races. Later in the year 1994, Mini was acquired by the brand BMW.
So the earlier versions are called the “Classic Mini” to differentiate them from the BMW- controlled MINI cars manufactured after the year 2000. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- Model T Ford
- Mini Cooper
- Cooper S
- Mini Clubman
- 1275 GT
20. Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A. is a subdivision of Stellantis. It is an Italian luxury car manufacturing company that was founded in 1910. It is known for manufacturing sport-oriented vehicles and has always been interested in racing.
Initially, the company started as a hand-building luxury car brand. Still, after the Second World War, it wasn’t accessible to make profits, so they decided to mass-produce compact cars.
The brand has also competed as an engine supplier and constructor in many races and has a successful history. Though a North American giant owns the company, it was initially started in Italy. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
Ferrari, an Italian-based luxury sports car manufacturing brand, was founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1939. Though the first car was built in 1940, it started its production only in 1947. Since the company’s start, Ferrari has been involved in the manufacturing of sports cars.
Thus making its first sports car AAC 815, powered by an 8-cylinder engine with 1500 cc. The brand is also known for its competence in Formula One racing.
Not only known for its sports car, but the brand is also famous for its SUVs, though they might not be the most stylish ones. Some of the brand’s award-winning car models are:
- 166 MM Barchetta
- 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
- 375 Plus Cabriolet
- 375 Mille Miglia Spyder
- 330 P4 Berlinetta
As you have read above, Europe is just famous for its tourist spots but also its car brands. Most of the luxury cars and sports cars are all from Europe. It is just a bit of remorse that people do not overlook because of the American and Japanese automobile brands.
I hope this article has helped you know more about all the famous European car brands and their history.