Europe is the first continent to produce the first automobile in the world, that's all because of one man. Karl Benz is considered the person who invented the first car sometime around the late 1880s, and this remarkable man was from Germany. When it comes to cars, Germany holds a certain sense of pride in producing the best cars in the world. This list is actually dominated by German car manufacturers, but there are still some whose names are famous, not just in Europe and North America, but the rest of the globe. Here are ten of the best car manufacturers from Europe.
The first company on the list is a German car manufacturer called Audi. Audi was established in 1899. Originally, the brand was called Horch, for the company August Horch and Cie. The name was changed 10 years later to Audiwerke AG, Zwickau. Then after 22 years, it merged with three other companies in Germany to form Auto Union AG.
Wars were fought and here Audi is, still standing and one of the top car manufacturers in the world. Audi is responsible for such amazing vehicles as the Audi Q5, Audi A3, A6, and Audi TT. The four interlocking rings are the emblem of this famous German car company.
9 Aston Martin
Have you ever seen a Vanquish S? Driving one could transform you into Daniel Craig or Pierce Brosnan, or whichever Bond character you prefer. Aston Martin is the official car of Agent 007, rightfully so since this is a British car manufacturer, courtesy of Her Majesty. Aston Martin has produced handsome cars aside from the Vanquish S, there's Vantage, DB5, Rapide, DB7 and DB9, and the super sexy Aston Martin Vulcan. Aston Martin's founders were Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford; they founded the company in 1914. Today, the company is ranked as one of the top manufacturers in Europe and the world.
Walter Owen, or W.O. Bentley (as he prefers it), was the founder of the car company called Bentley. Headquartered in Crew, Cheshire, England, this company started exactly 100 years ago. While the car got its jump-start to fame by winning the epic Le Mans race not once, but five times, the company grew to become one of the most luxurious and sophisticated pieces of machinery to ever ride the road. Bentley's are expensive; if a person has a Bentley, that means they're loaded. Take the 2006 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, 13-year senior model, but still worth $27,000 in the market.
BMW is one of the most widely-known car companies in the galaxy, whose name stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke. Two men, Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto, started the company. When they started out in 1916 they were known as BFW, then BMW AG the following year. The emblem was created in the same year, and proudly hoists the Bavarian state colors.
Some of the best vehicles BMW ever created were the BMW M1, Series M Coupe, M5 E39, and the BMW E30 M3. This car manufacturer can be considered the best brand to come out of Germany, but with much argument behind it for sure.
Enzo Ferrari's name will forever be known by all people in different cultures, rich or poor, around the world. Well, at least his last name. Enzo established his company in 1947 after getting his exposure to the industry as a works driver for Alfa Romeo. The first car he ever built was a sports car and it was no joke: powered by a 1500 cc 8-cylinder engine, he christened it the 815, but that wasn't the first car manufactured by the company. Nonetheless, this Italian car company would go on and build the first Ferrari car, the 125 S, and a hundred more models after that first horse emblazoned Ferrari.
How weird is it to have a car manufacturing company and not name it after your yourself? What's ironic is that it's called by a different kind of wild feline predator. Jaguar is a company founded by William Lyons in 1922. Jaguar, Lyons, get it?! The original name of Lyon's company was actually not Jaguar, it was Swallow Sidecar Company. It was changed to Jaguar in 1935. Imagine a car named after a sophisticated and sexy beast, people would expect no less from the vehicle. Jaguar has produced magnificent vehicles such as the F-Type coupe and of course, the E-Type.
Italy produces only the best cars, luxurious, lots of power under the hood, and just oozes quality and elite status. Lamborghini embodies these qualities to the core, as evidenced by the Lamborghini Aventador. Established in 1916, the man behind the famous bull logo is founder Ferruccio Lamborghini.
One of his first masterpieces was the 350 GTV, which debuted in 1963 at the Turin Motor Show. The company would then produce and market the 350 GT and 400 GT. Decades later and the company continues to manufacture luxury sports cars, some of the best are Egoista, Veneno, and the Sesto Elemento.
Dreams are contagious, just ask the Maserati brothers. Their passion for building cars came from their father who was just a railroad worker named Rodolfo Maserati. From this inspiration, the Maserati brothers created their first car, the Tipo 26. It already donned the trident logo and that was 93 years ago. They sold their company to Adolfo Orsi, who kept the name and the legacy alive, and the iconic emblem too. Throughout automobile history, Maserati became one of Italy's most popular car manufacturers. The name and the trident logo is well-known outside Europe. Just take a gander at the Alfieri, MC12, and the Ghibli.
The first automobile was invented by none other than the founder of Mercedes-Benz, the man who started it all, and he was Karl Friedrich Benz. A German mechanical engineer turned entrepreneur and one of the most successful and popular names in German and European history, Karl Benz established the company in 1901. The Mercedes-Benz brand produces high-end luxury cars and sedans that can be owned by the average middle-class Joe. But the company's best cars are more expensive, like the SLS AMG, 300 SLR, and CLK TGR Roadster. The iconic three-pointed star logo means domination of land, sea, and air.
Porsche 918 Spyder, Project Gold Porsche 993, and Porsche Rinspeed zaZen, these are just three cars made by Porsche that are worth at least $3 million each. This German car manufacturer started in 1931 under the leadership of Ferdinand Porsche. The original Beetle is a product of Porsche, believe it or not. In contrast, they also built race cars like the Type 64 Racing Coupe and the 16-cylinder engine powered Grand Prix race car. Some of the best Porsche cars are the 911 Carrera RS, 986 Boxster, and 918 Spyder. The company's latest offering to the public is the new Cayenne SUV and Panamera.