The Fiat Motor Company- A short history.
Fiat was established in 1899 by a group of European investors and in 1902 Giovanni Agnelli became the managing director of the company shortly after the manufacturer opened it’s first factory, he went on to lead the company until his death in 1945. Fiat initially began by producing models such as the Fiat 3 1/2 CV in 1899. Only eight models were produced and it featured a 2 cylinder rear mounted engine that produced 4.2 horsepower at 800 rpm, the vehicle also had a three speed gearbox with no reverse gear at all. The company exported it’s first car into America in 1908 in the same year that Fiat produced their first aircraft engine.
By 1910 the firm had grown into the largest car manufacturer in Italy, a position that it has retained up until the present day. Fiat had to close its US factory in 1917 after America entered into World War I and regulations became too tight for the company to function correctly. The company also supplied Allies with aircraft, machine guns, engines, trucks and ambulances which meant that even more of their factory space was taken up. By the end of the 1910s and early 1920s Fiat had an overall market share of 80% in Italy.
Fiat focused on producing products for a domestic market for the majority of the 1920′s and the company had to put its plans for international success on hold. The company only introduced two new vehicles to its range during this period, one in 1934 and the other in 1936. One of these was the critically acclaimed Topolino which was the smallest utilitarian vehicle in the world and remained in the Fiat line-up until 1955. The second, the Tariffa Minima, received positive reviews thanks to its excellent fuel efficiency.
During the 1980s Fiat introduced the hugely popular Uno model onto the market. The car has been a favourite of the critics since its inception and it went on to win Car Of The Year in 1995. It was re-branded and set alongside a fresh Fiat range in 2003, other models featured were the Seicento MY, Multipla, Stilo and Panda 4X4. Fiat are currently developing their Blue&Me technology that allows users to utilise in-car communication, information and entertainment technology.