At first sight there is no obvious reason why Sweden should figure highly in the motor industry. It may be one of Europe’s largest countries by land mass, but its population is not much over 10 million, and it is not exactly surrounded by car-producing nations. If you can name a single Danish, Finnish or Norwegian car manufacturer you’re doing very well.

Yet Sweden has produced two mainstream brands, one of them still a major player to this day, plus a respected creator of supercars. It also has a reputation for automotive creativity which began well over half a century ago and shows no sign of fading.

What follows is just a small selection of the contribution the ingenious Swedes have made to motoring life over the decades.

Volvo Start slideshow