Where do Fiat cars make?

History of Fiat

> (FIAT, Fabrica Italiana Automobili Torino), the largest Italian automobile corporation. It produces cars, sports cars, trucks, various industrial and agricultural equipment. The corporation also owns aerospace companies. Headquarters is located in Turin.

The company was founded in 1899 by a group of investors, including Giovanni Agnelli, and began assembling cars under license from Renault with De Dion engines. Agnelli brought his socialist ideals about the possibility of cooperation between entrepreneurs and workers to the organization of production from the very beginning. In 1903, Italy abolished tariffs on imported steel, which led to a rapid expansion of production: there were original passenger cars, trucks and buses, and the production of engines for airplanes and ships began.

Fiat cars, designed for elite customers, reached a constant popularity not only in the Italian, but also in the world market. At the same time, the Fiat brand also gained recognition in automobile racing, finishing at the head of such brands as Lancia, Storero, Miller and Nazzaro.

For the first time in Europe, the FIAT automobile company loudly announced itself as an original manufacturer with the S61 model with a 10.5-liter engine, winning the Grand Prix races in France in 1911.

Soon Giovanni Agnelli concluded that it was necessary to move forward from artisanal production to industrial production and in 1912 launched the mass production of cars under the F.I.A.T. brand. He was also one of the first to understand that each automobile manufacturer needed its own style, which should be developed by an artist-stylist. The pioneer of this ideology was the model Tipo Zero in 1912. Car’s design was not original and was similar to models of other companies. Agnelli obliged his masters to develop six different radiator grilles to give the “face” of the car individuality. F.I.A.T. and Alfa Romeo were the first to order the bodies for their production models from such craftsmen as Locati & Toretta, and then Zagato and Touring.

From the very beginning, Fiat set up production and manufacturing overseas. An example of this is the Poughkeepsie factory in the United States, which was opened in 1909.

This approach fully reflected the views of Giovanni Agnelli, who was already planning the development of methods to increase control over the production system. The result was the Lingotto project, in those days the largest automotive complex in Europe, which began production in 1922.

This project was based on a specific strategy: to make a car not intended for the elite and available only to a few, but a mass-produced car. This was accomplished through an entirely new industrial organization based on the assembly line of the conveyor type.

World War I brought FIAT to the forefront of Italian automobile production. By the beginning of the 1920s, FIAT was already becoming the largest company in Italy. Vittorio Valletta, the company’s skillful administrator, contributed to this in many ways. But in 1919-1920, FIAT and personally Agnelli had to endure a series of powerful strikes, accompanied by the seizure of plants and offices. The leaders of the rebelling workers were the communists Antonio Gramsci and Palmiro Togliatti. Production was virtually destroyed. After Mussolini came to power, Agnelli returned to the leadership. In 1927, the IFI holding company is created, designed to manage FIAT. To this day the Agnelli family plays the leading role in the holding.

In 1932 the “Balilla” debuted, and its production soon reached the quantity of 113 000 cars.

In 1936, the “Topolino” (or “FIAT-500”) appears, a two-seat car with a 569-cm3 engine, the world’s smallest car launched into mass production. First the shape and volume of the body were invented, and only after that the engineer Dante Giacosa began to think about the order of all the units and assemblies of the chassis with the rear drive wheels under it, designing them as a short and light frame with holes in the longitudinal members to reduce weight. The necessary rigidity was gained only after a sloping body was attached to the frame. This famous car sold 519,000 units between 1936 and 1955. The various models of this car were designed to increase interest in Italy and thereby cause a general increase in the number of cars.

During World War II, the FIAT factories were significantly destroyed, and after the liberation of Italy, they were nationalized. However, Vittorio Valetta continued to actually run the company.

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After the war, when a production boom began, a mass of new models rolled off the assembly line: the Fiat 500 two-door sedan, the Fiat 1100 B and 1500 D station wagons, and a year later the Fiat 500 C, 1100 E and 1500 E.

The 1950s began with the launch of the Fiat 1400, a model with a cross-body, which, starting in 1953, was the first Italian car to be offered also in a diesel version. In the same year the Mirafiori produced the sedan 1100/103 and the universal 103 TV. Half a decade later, the small Seicentos and Cinquecentos would change the face of Italy by making the car accessible to everyone. Produced by the millions, these cars introduced Italians to the rest of the world and became a symbol of the economic miracle embodied in the industrial transformation of the country.

In the early 60’s the company is privatized again. The grandsons of G. Agnelli Senior, Umberto and Giovanni Junior, become the head of the concern, bringing new approaches to the organization of production. Taking into account far-sighted intuition of the management personnel, the company produced a small car Fiat 850, produced in the amount of 3 million units. In 1966, Giovanni Agnelli, grandson of the founder, became Chairman of the company and initiated a number of projects to strengthen the company’s position in the world market.

It was in 1966 that Fiat signed an agreement with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to build the Volga automobile plant VAZ in Stavropol-on-the-Volga, not without irony renamed by the Communist authorities after Togliatti, which nearly killed Fiat in the 1920s. VAZ had a production capacity of 2,000 cars a day. Fiat became firmly established in our lives with the construction of the Volga Automobile Plant, which gave the country many millions of passenger cars, a huge number of jobs at the head plant and related plants. Fiat model VAZ produces up to now. In fact, the “2105” and “2106” on the technical content is almost identical to the 124th Fiat. So, it’s safe to speak about this concern as the “chief” of the Soviet car industry. It’s impossible to imagine today’s freeways and city streets without Zhiguli. Not only that, when “Russian Fiats” were sold abroad (in export versions), they successfully competed with the “Italians” thanks to their lower price. Even now the middle class of society is aimed at VAZ cars, and many prefer the “classics”, i.e. FIAT-124 in the past. The FIAT-124 was recognized car of the year already in 1967, 30 years ago. A successful model!

In 1969, the Lancia company enters FIAT. At the same time, in parallel with the introduction of various models, starting with the Dino and up to the 128, 130, 127 and 126 series, Fiat was building car plants in Southern Italy, Poland and Brazil, spreading Italian automotive know-how all over the world, including the experience gained from the acquisition of famous brands such as Autobianchi and Lancia.

During the period covering the oil crisis in the seventies, the focus was on improving finished products and production processes, which helped achieve a higher level of automation and set up production with more efficient automotive methods.

Ritmo production, which began in 1978 thanks to Robogate, a revolutionary automation system, took the company to a new level of development. The turning point in the history of the Fiat Motor Group was 1983 when the famous Uno, the car that offered a wide range of innovations: in electronics, the use of alternative materials, engine design, etc., was launched.

In 1980, the compact car FIAT Panda was presented in Geneva. Over 20 years of production, FIAT has offered 60 variants of the Panda model. The total number of machines produced is 4 million pieces. Despite its rather unassuming appearance, the Panda has been designed in the atelier ItalDesign under the guidance of maestro D. Giugiaro. Today this model is one of the cheapest in Western Europe.

FIAT Uno debuted in March 1983 in Geneva. It is the model range “number one” – the Uno has remained the most popular in the Apennine Peninsula for more than a decade. FIAT Uno was taken off the conveyor in Italy in May 1995 and transferred for production to the Polish factory FlAT-Polsca (former FSM) in Bielsko-Biala, the Turkish branch of TOFAS-FIAT, as well as the Egyptian branch of El Nasr, where these models are produced to this day. The FIAT Uno was replaced on the Italian assembly line by its successor, the FIAT Punto.

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The large front-wheel-drive Fiat Croma, introduced by the main Italian automaker in December 1985, a hatchback with a stepped tailgate, comfortable and roomy trunk, the so-called “two-half-volume”, this model was designed on a single, as it was then called, “common European” platform “TIPO 4”, on which Lancia Thema, SAAB 9000 and Alfa Romeo 164 were still based. The Croma was produced until 1996, when the demand for it completely collapsed and FIAT considered it unnecessary to continue its presence in this class.

In 1986, the Fiat Group acquired Alfa Romeo and its branches, thus strengthening its position on the world market. The company’s policy enabled it to soon introduce the new Alfa 164 to the market, which has echoed in the hearts of ardent fans of the legendary brand. The Alfa 164 was followed by a series of models, among which was the Alfa 156, the production of which was established in 1997 and which became the Car of the Year.

Five-door hatchback Tipo debuted in January 1988, a four-door streamlined six-passenger sedan Tempra – in February 1990, five-door station wagon Tempra (also called FIAT Tempra) and van RIT Marengo – in May 1990. These models are made on the same platform, but their design is somewhat different. On the same technology platform concern FIAT released and similar in size, but more expensive and prestigious models in segments C and D – Lancia Delta and Alfa Romeo 33, and Lancia Dedra with Alfa 155. Externally, the Tipo resembles the scaled-up previous best-seller of the market, the FIAT Uno, and yet the prestigious title of “Car of the Year 1989” went to it. However, the Tipo has not received wide recognition on the market. In October 1995, the range of Tipo and Tempra was replaced in Italy by families of models Bravo/Brava and Magea.

The Punto/Sporting is a front-wheel drive car of a particularly small class (3- and 5-door hatchback). The most popular in class, 17 basic models (including a convertible). GT is the most powerful modification. It debuted in Autumn, 1993. The new generation of this model – July, 1999.

The Fiat Coupe sports coupe based on the Fiat Bravo is one of the cheapest models of this type. The Coupe Turbo is the most powerful modification with high dynamic characteristics and a maximum speed of 250 km/h, a competitor of the compressor-based Mercedes-Benz CLK and Porsche Boxter. The model was first introduced in November 1993. In the summer of 2000, a new Coupe 2.0 20V Turbo Plus with a 220-horsepower engine and a 6-speed transmission was shown at the Turin Motor Show.

FIAT Ulysse, a minivan with transverse engine layout and front-wheel drive. Produced jointly by Peugeot/Citrogoin and Fiat/Lancia. The vast family of 7-8-seater minivans with increased capacity as part of a joint project U60 of FIAT and PSA was premiered in January 1994. Production of all models, based on a common platform, is carried out at the new plant NordSEVEL in northern France. In early 1996, the commercial and passenger family (U64) of mini vans FIAT Scudo / Citroen Jumpy / Peugeot Expert, unified with the chassis and partly the bodies of minivans of the U60 family, were introduced on the market. The U64 platform replaced the short wheelbase model FIAT Talento.

The Fiat Barchetta was first presented in the spring of 1995 at the Geneva Motor Show and was recognized as the most beautiful saloon cabriolet. It is a front-wheel drive spyder sports convertible with an open or hard removable top; it is based on the Fiat Punto, a joint development of Fiat and the Pininfarina design atelier. In the summer of 2000 at the Turin Motor Show was shown the “luxury” Barchetta Riviera.

Fiat Bravo/Brava, C-class cars with transverse engine and front-wheel drive. The last generation of hatchbacks Golf-class (segment C, according to the European classification) was presented by FIAT in September 1995. It was very successful – the two-unit Bravo/Brava won the honorary title “Car of the Year 1996”.

The Fiat Marea is a European D-class model, created on the Brava platform, but longer and more spacious than the last. “The HLX luxury variant has an electric adjustable driver’s seat, two side airbags and a hi-fi stereo unit with six speakers. The model was first presented in July 1996. In 1998, specifically for Russia was developed an “arctic” version of the Fiat Marea.

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FIAT Palio (Siena – Argentinean modification of the Fiat Palio) is a compact car of the small class. The model was first introduced in 1996. Initially the car was produced in Brazil, since 1997 – in Argentina and Poland. In 1997 began producing the model with a station wagon body. In 1998 the Fiat Palio station wagon began to deliver on the European market. In 2000, the wagon Weekend joined the Palio 3-door and 5-door hatchbacks.

In March-April 1998 in Turin, was presented FIAT Seicento, a car of a particularly small class. Like the Panda, this car belongs to the European size class A. It is produced in Poland, and sold on the European market. The basic versions are produced: Young, S, SX, Citymatic, Suite, Sporting, as well as the electric Seicento Elettra.

The Multipla model was first presented in the autumn of 1998. It is a mid-range minivan – the first vehicle of its class. The revived name of the multi-passenger compact car of the ’50s. In the summer of 2000, a new Special series with higher level of equipment was introduced.

In October 2000 the company released a cargo-passenger model Doblo at the Paris Auto Show. This car is offered both as a passenger version and as a cargo version (Doblo Cargo).

In Italy, the Stilo has been on sale since October 6, 2002. The three-door hatchback, which replaces the Bravo model, appeals to fans of active driving. In turn, the five-door car (it replaces the Fiat Brava) is a “family” variant. Fiat Stilo will be produced for six to seven years. The total planned production volume is 2.5 million cars.

The concern is gradually acquiring bankrupt companies and today under the “roof” of FIAT gathered FERRARI, and LANCIA and ALFA ROMEO. It also owns several tractor plants.

History of FIAT car brand.

Despite the fact that the brand has been familiar to the Russian consumer since the beginning of the last century, today few people know what the acronym FIAT means. In fact, it is an acronym for Italian Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, which in Russian sounds like “Italian Car Factory of Turin”.

FIAT 500

The history of FIAT brand begins at the end of the nineteenth century, when a group of enthusiasts, led by a retired officer, Giovanni Agnelli decides to start assembling cars. Let’s trace the evolution of the company from the formative stage to the present day.

The history of FIAT

The locomotive of the automobile industry announced itself at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and today the whole world knows that the manufacturing country of FIAT is Italy. During its century-long activity, the brand has become one of the largest European monopolists.

Many people associate the brand with inexpensive cars, but the range of concern is much wider:

  • military vehicles;
  • vehicles and equipment for firefighters;
  • agricultural equipment;
  • railway vehicles;
  • aircraft;
  • construction machinery.

FIAT operates in other areas of mechanical engineering and financial services. Its assembly plants are located all over the world. FIAT plants are located in Argentina, South Africa, Egypt, Turkey, the largest Asian countries.

Company foundation

A joint stock company of the Turin Automobile Plant (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) was formed in 1899. One of the investors was mayor Giovanni Agnelli, who finished his military career for the automobile business. The former officer vowed to compensate for the lack of engineering education with entrepreneurial spirit.

Giovanni Agnelli, owner of FIAT

Giovanni Agnelli – owner of FIAT

Already in 1902, Agnelli took the post of managing director of the factory. A strict discipline and strict order were established at the factory. Thanks to this, production volumes were increasing exponentially: by the end of the first year the firm had produced eight Fiat 3.5 HP models, and by 1903 there were 135 cars produced. Innovative developments, such as a car assembly line, the first for Europe at the time, also contributed to this.

Gradually Signor Agnelli ousted all shareholders from the board of directors, becoming the sole owner of the company. By that time, production had expanded beyond Italy, opening plants even in the United States. FIAT was not limited to the production of cars and sports cars, with a wide range – from buses and trains to trucks and special equipment.

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What does the acronym FIAT mean?

Despite the fact that the brand has been familiar to the Russian consumer since the beginning of the last century, today few people know what the acronym FIAT means. In fact, it is an acronym for Italian Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, which in Russian sounds like “Italian Car Factory of Turin”.

History of Fiat emblem

The first years of its existence the company produced cars with a plate with the full name of the factory on it.

But by 1901, the FIAT emblem appeared, the creation of which its designer Mario Maioli was inspired by the panorama of the factory against the background of the sunset sky.

FIAT emblem in different years of the company's existence

FIAT emblem in different years of the company’s existence

Since then, the FIAT logo has been restyled several times. The corporate font of the abbreviation has remained unchanged, while the shape and color of the emblem have been finalized by our contemporaries. The last badge, presented in 2006, combines new design and company’s traditions. It uses two popular shapes – shield-shaped and round, as well as branded letters on a dark red background. The concept laid in this design makes it clear that the Turin company keeps up with the spirit of the time, but remains faithful to its principles.

Company activity during the war period

The difficult political situation in 1911-1912 pushed the plant to produce a series of army trucks FIAT-15T. During World War II, the range of military equipment was supplemented by fighter planes, tanks and other weapons. During the war years, the concern had to endure several strikes, and some factories, recognized as important strategic sites, were regularly bombed.

FIAT-15T truck

In 1945 Signor Agnelli, being a supporter of Hitler’s regime, was removed from the management of production and died soon after. Then Vittorio Valletta, the Chief Executive Officer, was removed from his post, and two years later he returned to the company as President. However, by 1966 the Agnelli family had regained a controlling interest.

FIAT’s post-war successes

The fall of the fascist regime in Italy did not affect the performance of the concern, which managed to keep the enterprises and continue working. The first time under the FIAT brand mainly produced military vehicles: ambulances FIAT-1100E, pickup trucks 1100T, cargo-passenger cars Topolino.

Fiat Campagnola 1951

Fiat Campagnola 1951

Under the guidance of a chief engineer in the 1950s, the Turin manufacturer developed a major innovation of those years – the Campagnola multi-purpose vehicle. Feature of this Italian jeep was a 180-degree opening side doors. Later came the reinforced version Nuova Campagnola with a 6-9 seats body. The model was used in the internal security units of the country and the Red Cross.

Modern development of the company

As noted by financial analysts, the faithfulness of the concern to its traditions in the conditions of the current society badly affects the reputation of produced cars.

FIAT continues to emphasize the availability of its cars to the detriment of the quality of assembly, as a result of which the once prestigious acronym began to turn into internet memes.

For example, a transcription of FIAT’s name appeared online as Fix It Again, Tony – “Fix It Again, Tony!”

In 2014-2015, the company ranked last in the annual quality rating of the marketing agency J.D. Power, and in 2016 the reputation of FIAT was affected by an accident that happened to Hollywood star Anton Yelchin. The young man died when he was jammed by his faulty Jeep Grand Cherokee (one of the vehicles of the concern, which merged several brands). The result was a wide public outcry, and the manufacturer was forced to recall almost 8,000 new cars.

Today branches of FIAT are present in 61 countries, and the manufacturer still produces new cars. The company plans to team up with Peugeot-Citroen, and also temporarily focus on the development of models that can compete with the popular Kia Rio and Renault Logan.

Car brands that are part of the FIAT automobile concern

Despite the setbacks that have haunted the company lately, over its century-long history the FIAT brand has actually captured a monopoly in the Italian car market. The concern cooperates with manufacturers in the U.S., a number of European and Asian countries. In total, the group of companies includes about 20 companies specializing in a variety of concepts – from cars to planes, trains and military equipment. Let’s talk about the most famous brands that joined the FIAT brand during certain periods of its history.

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Red sports and racing cars with an emblem in the form of a horse on a yellow background are produced since 1947. Cooperation with the concern FIAT brand began in the 1960s, as a result of which all the company’s cars have gained a reputation as the most expensive in the world.

Ferrari Fiat 124 budget car

Budget car Ferrari Fiat 124

The joint history of the companies lasts more than half a century, during which the Turin manufacturer has provided Ferrari with material and technical support.


Chrysler is an American company, under the leadership of which Jeep, RAM, Dodge and other cars are produced. The holding has been actively developing since its founding (1924), buying European companies. Since 1970 the brand rating and quality of production has been rapidly declining, so by 2009 the company went completely bankrupt and passed to 100% management by FIAT. Now the Chrysler brand exists as Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo was owned by the state-owned Italian holding company IRI for decades. But in the 1980s, despite the multiple wins of the brand’s cars in motorsports and the success of its models, the manufacturer fell into financial crisis, as a result of which it was absorbed by the FIAT concern.

Alfa Romeo Alfasud

Alfa Romeo Alfasud

Elite racing and sports cars are produced under the Alfa Romeo brand. The emblem of the brand is heraldic elements of the fifteenth century, which is traditionally associated with Milan.


The brand existed on its own only at the beginning of its journey, and then was forced to join the Chrysler Company. For some time, the brand was associated with popular models of powerful but affordable sports cars. After joining the FIAT concern, Dodge production underwent rebranding and then sharply declined, becoming uncompetitive.


Premium class cars and exclusive sports cars are produced under the brand name Maserati. The brand was founded in 1914 by Maserati brothers, whose surname was used to give the name of the automobile company. They also own the authorship of the logo – the trident of Neptune, decorating the fountain in Bologna.

Maserati Gran Turismo S

Maserati Gran Turismo S

The brand became part of the FIAT group at the right time, when it needed a second wind. Maserati revamped its factory under the company’s leadership, launched several new car models and for the first time began producing SUVs.


The company Lancia Automobiles appeared in the early twentieth century and has managed to accumulate serious experience in producing cars for various segments of the market. Therefore, after the sale of a controlling stake to the monopolist FIAT, the manufacturer continued to develop new models independently, producing both limited edition collections of premium cars and commercial vehicles. Since 2014, the company has been present mainly on the home market.

FIAT’s involvement in motorsports

FIAT made its first attempt to create a car worthy of professional motorsports in 1933, immediately climbing to third place on the podium of the Italian race “A Thousand Miles” (Mille Miglia). Created for the event, the 508S won the love of race car enthusiasts, resulting in an edition of more than 1,200 copies sold out instantly.

Fiat Dino sports car

Fiat Dino sports car

A third of a century later, the Fiat Dino appeared, followed by the almost indistinguishable Ferrari Dino. Fiat Dino became an important stepping stone on the way to participation in “Formula-1” races. In the future, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Maserati took part in competitions on behalf of the company. The many achievements of the famous racing driver Michael Schumacher can be attributed to the victories of Fiat.

FIAT in Russia

In Russia, the FIAT car brand is firmly associated with the Volga Automobile Plant and the VAZ 2101 “Zhiguli”, the prototype of which was the FIAT 124 model.

By the sixties, the non-Turin manufacturer was chosen to help the USSR build a car factory, and the cars it produced were defined as the “norm”.

Today, FIAT products do not enjoy the former popularity among Russian motorists, as the market is flooded with foreign cars, with which the Italian models often do not withstand competition. Sometimes on the roads one can see Ducato or Diablo produced in 2006-2011. Commercial vehicles and special equipment of Russian make are still in demand among our compatriots.

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