Nat: I guess it has always been that way in Europe
Not really..... Each country used to have its own industry. For instance, most French would have bought French cars, the Germans bought German cards, the Italians bought Fiat, the Spaniards Seat, the British boiught Rover and Austin, etc..... More or less the same applied in every field. FOr instance, in before WWII and even in the 50s, you would have bought cameras, radio sets, washing machines etc... made in your own country.
The global European brand neames apperaed, such as Philips, Bosch, Moulinex, Braun, etc... in home appliances. And now, we have to get used to either brandless Chinese stuff, or new Chinese brand names such as Haier, Datang etc.....