The history of Fiat began many years ago, at the dawn of Italian industrialisation, in which the company has always played a leading role. From that moment on, the Fiat brand spread throughout the world and developed extensively.
Fiat was founded On 11 July 1899 at Palazzo Bricherasio, the company charter of 'Società Anonima Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino' was signed. Among the members of the Board of Directors, Giovanni Agnelli stood out in the group of investors and won recognition for his determination and strategic vision.
In 1902 he became the Managing Director of the company.
The Lingotto factory
In 1916 the construction of Lingotto started under the direction of Giacomo Mattè Trucco.
The Factory, the largest in Europe, occupied five floors and had a futuristic test track on the roof. It soon became the emblem of the Italian automotive industry and was completed in 1922.
Falling back on the domestic market
During the years of Mussolini's autarchic policy, Fiat too had to rescale its plans for international presence and concentrate on the domestic market. In the Thirties trucks and commercial vehicles underwent considerable technological development and at the same time the aviation and railway sectors grew.
Second World War
During the war years there was a drastic reduction in the production of cars, while the construction of commercial vehicles increased considerably.
In 1953 the first Fiat diesel engined vehicle was presented, the 1400 diesel.
The economic boom and social unrest
Growth continued in exports as well as production: the trend showed an increase from one car every 96 inhabitants to one every 28. In the meantime Fiat boosted its presence in southern Italy by setting up numerous factories there. There was also an increase in trade union conflicts: in 1969 total hours on strike reached 15 million.
The Robogate system
In 1978 the 'Robogate' system was created, the new flexible robotized system for assembling the bodywork. It was the road to innovation and the automation of production.
The new cars of the 1990's
After the debut of the Fiat Tempra in 1990, the 500 came out in 1991. Two years later, in 1993, it was the moment of Fiat Punto (named 'Car of the Year' in 1995) and Fiat Coupé, with bodywork designed by Pininfarina and Centro Stile Fiat.
The last born
Fiat Idea, available since January 2004, was not only the first MPV created by Fiat but it also was the first car with the task of communicating the brand's new 'mission'.
A car with a truly unique design: luminous with the new Sky Dome, taller for improved visibility, and with so many flexibility enhancing solutions in its interior that it is suitable for all kinds of purposes.
August 2004 saw the launch of the revised Fiat Multipla. The New Multipla has new front-end styling and new interiors, to bring it into line with the rest of the Fiat family range. Instantly a success, it won the award of 'Facelift of the Year' from What MPV & 4x4? Magazine in early October.Source: Fiat