15 Car Brands You’ve Likely Never Heard Of

15 Car Brands You’ve Likely Never Heard Of

In the world of automobiles, giants like Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen reign supreme. These companies typically grab all the attention, leaving little room for smaller, lesser-known players. That’s why we’re digging into the archives for this article, traveling around the globe to present you with 15 car brands you’ve likely never heard of before. 

1. Wiesmann

A German sports car maker, Wiesmann was founded in 1988 and is known for their retro, yet modern, hand-built sports cars. The unique blend of vintage aesthetics with advanced BMW powertrains is what separates this brand from the rest of the pack. Unfortunately, despite its high-quality craftsmanship and performance, Wiesmann has remained relatively obscure to the general public.

dulmenfruhlingsfestsportwagenmanufakturwiesmann-2013-0138.jpgPhoto by Dietmar Rabich on Wikimedia Commons

2. Bolloré

Bolloré, a French company, is predominantly known for its work in media and logistics, though it has a subsidiary dedicated to electric vehicles. Their compact, fully-electric Bluecar was used extensively in car-sharing programs across France and Italy, but remains largely unheard of everywhere else. 

Bollor%C3%A9_Blue_Car.jpgPhoto by lorentey (Karoly Lorentey) from Budapest, Hungary on Wikimedia Commons

3. Rossion

Rossion Automotive is an American car manufacturer that was founded way back in 2007. Known for their high-performance Rossion Q1 sports car, they managed to expertly combine style, speed, and comfort into a surprisingly affordable package. Unfortunately, due to its low production numbers and niche market, Rossion remains under the radar for most. 

Rossion_Q1.jpgPhoto by Sir Stig on Unsplash

4. Zenvo

Coming straight from the Danish island of Zealand, Zenvo is best known for crafting hypercars that rival the likes of Bugatti and Koenigsegg. Despite their ST1 model’s monstrous power, the brand’s limited production run and hefty price tag have kept it out of the mainstream eye.

Zenvo_TS1_front_wing.jpgPhoto by Bulletfoss on Wikimedia Commons


5. VLF Automotive

Co-founded by former GM executive Bob Lutz, VLF Automotive specializes mainly in luxury sports cars. Despite the pedigree of its founders and unique products like the Destino V8, VLF still remains largely unknown.

VLFForce1V10.jpgPhoto by Yahya S. on Wikimedia Commons

6. Donkervoort

Doonkervoort, a Dutch automaker, produces hand-built and ultra-lightweight sports cars. Although some of their cars like the D8 GTO-JD70 offer astonishing performance, the brand is simply a secret to many outside of Europe.

Donkervoort_D8_GT_front.jpgPhoto by Rutger van der Maar on Wikimedia Commons

7. VinFast

All the way from Vietnam, VinFast debuted in 2018 and is Vietnam’s first high-volume car manufacturer. They offer a wide selection of vehicles from electric cars to luxury SUVs. But despite their recent strides in EVs and global ambition, the company is still unheard of to most people outside of Vietnam.

Vinfast_VF8_5.jpgPhoto by Mliu92 on Wikimedia Commons

8. Artega

Artega is a German sports car manufacturer known for its Artega GT. Even though the GT won accolades in Europe, the brand continues to have difficulty establishing itself internationally. 

Artega_GT.jpgPhoto by Zölle on Wikimedia Commons

9. Qoros

This Sino-Israeli company manufactures vehicles that brilliantly blend Chinese affordability with European design and safety standards. Although they have a strong presence in China, it unfortunately does not share the same presence in the Western automotive market.

Qoros_7_010.jpgPhoto by JustAnotherCarDesigner on Wikimedia Commons

10. Ultima Sports

Ultima Sports is a British sports car manufacturer that produces some of the fastest road-legal cars in the world, such as the Ultima Evolution. However, due to their “kit car” business model and lack of mass production, Ultima remains obscure to most people around the world. 

1024px-Ultima_GTR_Mac_G.jpgPhoto by Dave Hamster on Wikimedia Commons


11. Melkus

As the only sports car manufacturer from East Germany, Melkus is probably a name you haven’t heard of before. Melkus is the company that produced the gullwing door equipped RS 1000 during the 1960s. The brand revived itself in 2009, but it went largely unnoticed by those outside of Germany.

1024px-Melkus_RS2000_AME.jpgPhoto by Thomas doerfer on Wikimedia Commons

12. Devon Motorworks

Devon Motorworks, an American brand, produced the strikingly unique Devon GTX supercar. Despite setting an impressive lap record at Laguna Seca, the brand hasn’t been able to break into mainstream popularity.

DevonGTXrear.jpgPhoto by Devon Motorworks on Wikimedia Commons

13. Marussia Motors

Russia’s first high-performance car manufacturer, Marussia Motors, produced the B1 and B2  sports cars. Even though these cars have a unique design and performance, the brand did not get any global attention before its bankruptcy in 2014.

Marussia-B2-prototype.jpgPhoto by Andrey Motorov on Wikimedia Commons

14. Mazzanti Automobili

This Italian boutique supercar maker is best known for models like Evantra. With such high performance and handcrafted details, it’s sad to say that Mazzanti remains overshadowed by the more well-known Italian brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini.

Mazzanti_Evantra_Millecavalli.jpgPhoto by Demolition Man on Wikimedia Commons

15. PGO

PGO, a French car manufacturer, produces niche sports cars with a distinctive retro design. While it's popular among a small group of enthusiasts in France, PGO is still looking to make its name in the big wide world.

PGO_Hemera.jpgPhoto by Rutger van der Maar on Wikimedia Commons

So, now that you’ve seen the list, how many of these car brands have you heard of before? These relatively unknown car brands offer a fascinating glimpse into the unseen corners of the automotive industry. While they don’t have the same recognition as bigger names like Mercedes-Benz, Honda, or Chevrolet, their unique vehicles and innovative approaches are still valuable contributions to the global automotive industry. The next time you discuss cars, don’t hesitate to bring out some of these unfamiliar names!