FIAT is an Italian company that was first established in 1899. FIAT stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, or Italian Automobile Factory of Turin, since its first factory was built in the city of Turin, Italy. FIAT built its first car, the 4HP, in 1900, producing just 24 cars that year.
Like many European and Asian automakers of the time, the CEO of FIAT, Giovanni Agnelli, visited the US to see how American cars were built. He took the knowledge he gained back to Italy and introduced American mass-production techniques to FIAT, building the massive Lingotto Factory, the largest factory in Europe at the time.
FIAT employed 50,000 workers and was a major part of the Italian economy until the start of World War II, when it was made to switch from auto production to making weapons and other equipment for the military. After the end of the war, FIAT soon introduced the FIAT 500, which became extremely popular and helped almost quadruple FIAT’s sales from 425,000 in 1959 to over 1.7 million in 1969.
During the 1970s and 1980s, FIAT acquired Lancia and Alfa Romeo, and the company still partners with Alfa Romeo to this day. With struggling sales against Asian automakers in the 1990s, FIAT joined forces in 2000 with General Motors, which lasted until 2009 when FIAT split with GM and instead partnered with Chrysler. Now, Fiat Chrysler America, or FCA, sells some of the most popular and beloved vehicles in America, including the FIAT 500.
Since its partnership with Chrysler, FIAT has grown exponentially both in the US and abroad. FIAT is a brand that emphasizes individualism, taking charge of your own destiny, and finding great things in small packages. Here at Gossett CDJR FIAT, we’re proud to be part of the unique FIAT legacy. If you’re interested in the FIAT lineup, give us a call today!