Fiat and a Century of Quality

The History of One of Europe’s Largest Auto Manufacturers

When it comes to European automakers, Fiat is one of the most popular brands out there. Kernersville enthusiasts know the caliber and reliability put forth by the Italian manufacturing company, but few know its history. While you’re taking your favorite ride for a tune-up at a quality Fiat repair garage like Carmine’s Import Service, here’s a refresher on over a century of dedication that makes this company great.

Timeline

  • 1899 – Giovanni Agnelli founds Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (FIAT)
  • 1900 – The first factory opens in Turin, Italy
  • 1908 – Fiat’s success prompts Agnelli to open a plant in the United States
  • 1920 – Using manufacturing concepts developed by Henry Ford, Fiat becomes the top automotive maker in Italy with 88% of the market
  • 1940 – The Second World War found Fiat factories converted to manufacturing munitions and airplane components
  • 1945- Giovanni Agnelli dies, and control of the company is wrested from the family due to their perceived support of Mussolini
  • 1963 – Gianni Agnelli, grandson of the original founder, regained control and began to spur company growth
  • 1969 – Fiat purchases half of Ferrari and surpasses Volkswagen as the highest-selling auto manufacturer in Europe
  • 1973 – Oil prices instigate the first severe drop in car sales since WWII
  • 1976 – In a crisis, the company sells 10% of its shares to Lybia
  • 1986 – Fiat becomes the largest European auto manufacturer after purchasing Alfa Romeo and Maserati and regaining the 10% stake from Lybia, yet suffers from a decades-long slump due to Japanese and Korean auto sales
  • 2009 – Working with Chrysler, Fiat develops the 500, reentering the American market and allowing both companies to compete with Toyota and Volkswagen.
  • 2017 – Chrysler and Fiat merge, and the 500 becomes one of the most popular vehicles worldwide

The ups and downs of the car market weren’t easy on Fiat. Still, its dedication to creating efficient, small vehicles that are as economical to own as they are fun to drive has made them a beloved manufacturer across the globe. A lot of history went into making it one of the most recognizable and dependable cars on the road today. When you need Fiat repair, remember to choose nothing less than a qualified mechanic to handle your baby!

Written by Carmine Cupani

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