10 July 2011

France: Post War Car Production: 1950-2010

Europe was decimated in the 1940's (can't think why) and by 1945 only 1,600 cars were made in France. Like the rest of Europe, production was soon on the up and up. We can see this below:

1950 257,000
1955 561,000
1960 1,175,000
1965 1,423,000
1970 2,458,000
1975 2,952,000
1980 3,406,000
1985 2,817,000
1990 3,294,815
1995 3,050,929
2000 2,879,810
2005 3,112,956
2010 1,914,029

1979 was the best year (depending on source for the data) with 3,730,000 cars made. I am not an expert on the French car industry, but I put the subsequent drop to the following: 1) Strong competition from more reliable Japanese brands, especially in former French territories. 2) French cars falling away in innovation and to a point design. In other words, what is attractive about French cars is not sufficient to offset the deficiencies. 3) The French government seems too interfering and protective, which has bred a certain amount of complacency.

In summary: I believe French car manufacturing will continue to meander.

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