Below is a chart of six major nations in the region under scrutiny. It excludes any commercial vehicles as well as smaller producing nations. So a quick look at each nation.
Germany: Green for top car maker and been so throughout. It now makes about half of the cars out of these six, and many of those are high ticket models. Therefore the value of the cars is on average quite high. I have counted GM Belgium's assembly in Belgium and taken them out of Germany, so some figures will be different to other sources. My way avoids a double count.
Spain: Many car brands are represented in the Spanish industry, with only SEAT viewed as a local one although owned now by VW. Spain started fourth, spent most time at third and got to second courtesy of France's slip.
UK: Once the third largest car maker in the world, poor management of the industry led to its virtual collapse. Later US brands all but left car manufacture there too and then the end of MG Rover conspired to all but kill the industry off. Japanese car makers turning up, and then Nissan's constant ramping up volume saved the UK from ignominy. Land Rover has also of late done wonders under Tata in lifting production.
France: It spent the whole of this time second but it was slipping, as went through a slow version of what UK car making went through. It will come out of the pain, now the necessary rationalisation is being undertaken. For now it's fourth on the list.
Belgium: As a small nation with no local brands, it's amazing how strongly they figure at all. Recently car manufacturers have been pulling out and it is some way down on where it was in 1990.
Italy: Because of the Italian brands such as Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia you think of Italy as a strong car making country. However, many Italian cars are made in Latin America and even in other European countries. This has led to the point that we see below, with very limited car making going on. The situation will soon change as new models come out of the Chrysler/Fiat venture, but it won't be the major player it was even so.
In the chart, the ranking for each year is colour coded. Units produced are in thousands. The % column represents increase or decrease over the previous year.
Summary: Western Europe's economic prominence in the world has lessened, as has its car making. Some fine cars are still being made there though, but not in the numbers they were. Things are always changing.
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