The History of Fiat

Fiat (an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino) is the name of the company founded in Turin in 1899 by a group of investors headed by Giovanni Agnelli. During the first decade of the XX century the company became the largest Italian automaker, and remains so to this day. In the early stage of its history it produced prestigious models, which were in demand in the U.S. market and successfully competed in the races. In the 20s, when Europe's largest car plant was built in Lingotto, Fiat is launching inexpensive cars of small and medium classes. The beginning of the process of mass motorization of Italy was marked by a micro-car Fiat 500 Topolino, designed in 1936 by Dante Giacosa. But the real people's cars were its rear-motor successor Fiat 600 (1955-1969) and Fiat Nuova 500 (1957-1975), issued in many millions of copies.

After World War II, the Agnelli family was removed from management, accused of collaborating with the Mussolini regime, but in 1966, the grandson of the founder, Gianni Agnelli, regained control of the business. That same year, an agreement was signed with the Soviet Union to build a plant at VAZ in Togliatti and organize production of a copy of the Fiat 124 - the VAZ-2101. Fiat also sold licenses to manufacture its models to other companies: SEAT (Spain), FSO (Poland), Zastava (Yugoslavia), NSU (Germany), Tofas (Turkey) and others. The intensive growth in 60-ies was accompanied by the construction of new factories, and in 1970 in Italy only Fiat was producing already 1.4 million cars per year and had more than 100000 employees. During this period, Fiat began to take over other Italian brands: Lancia (1968), Ferrari (1969), Alfa Romeo (1986) and Maserati (1993).

During the economic crisis of the 1970s Fiat was transformed into the holding company Fiat SpA. In the early 80s, the brand leaves the North American market, but remains one of the leading brands in Europe. During that time, nine Fiat models won the title 'European Car of the Year'. 124 (1967), 128 (1970), 127 (1972), Uno (1984), Tipo (1989), Punto (1995), Bravo (1996), Panda (2004) and 500 (2008).

In 2014, Fiat and Chrysler merged to form the multinational Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). As a result, Chrysler was saved from bankruptcy and Fiat regained access to the U.S. market. Today Fiat-Chrysler is the second largest automaker in Europe and seventh in the world. It owns Italian brands Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lancia, Maserati and Abarth, as well as the liquidated Autobianchi and Innocenti. The largest plants of Fiat are located in Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Poland. The annual production volume of Fiat Group cars exceeds 4 million units, including commercial vehicles. Do not forget to use Fiat VIN decoder in order to avoid potential problems when buying a used car.

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