20 September 2016
Italian Car Production (Brand) : 1951-2015 Summary
We have traced the history of Italian car manufacturing for 64 years. It rose from the ashes of a war, had some ups and downs before descending precipitously before a mini revival in 2015. Just under 120,000 cars were made in 1951, then it peaked in 1989 with 1,970,000 and ended at 663,000 in 2015.
How it goes from here depends on several factors. Will the quality of the product allow for it to grow? How many will be built in Italy anyway? What are FCA's plans moving forward? Some wonderful cars have been made here, but others are best forgotten.
Fiat lost its way making good medium sized cars and ended up relying on smaller cars. I have read that was a deliberate policy but that would have led to reduced profit and then less R&D. Inflexible labour regulations in the country also impacted on profit, which forced production elsewhere.
One area I would liked to have included is Fiat light commercial production, which I don't have enough information. In 2015 162,000 LCVs were made (nearly all of that is the Ducato van) for a total of 550,000 Fiat vehicles made in Italy. That would take total national production from 663,000 to 825,000.
Summary: One thing to be learned is nothing can be taken for granted. Had someone twenty years ago accurately predicted how Italy's car production was to fall from there, no one would have believed them. In this competitive commercial world, there is no room for complacency.
For all the articles in the series, simply click on the year:
1951-60, 1961-70, 1971-80, 1981-90, 1991-00, 2000-09, 2010-15.
PS. There was a one year overlap for the year 2000 by mistake. I'll have words with my PA for not picking that up. Oh hang on, that's me!