The History of Fiat

   

Fiat S.p.A., an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, is an Italian car manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial and industrial group based in Turin in the Piedmont region. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli. Fiat has also manufactured railroad vehicles, tanks and aircraft. As of 2009, Fiat is the world's sixth largest carmaker as well as Italy's largest carmaker.
Fiat-based cars are constructed all around the world, with the largest number produced outside Italy being built in Brazil, where they are best-sellers. It also has factories in Argentina and Poland. Fiat has a long history of licensing its products to other countries regardless of local political or cultural persuasion. Joint venture operations are found in Italy, France, Turkey, India, Serbia and Russia.
The European Car of the Year award, Europe's premier automotive trophy for the past 40 years, has been awarded twelve times to the Fiat Group, more than any other manufacturer.
Production systems are made mainly through Comau S.p.A. (now Comau Systems), which bought the American Pico, Renault Automation and Sciaky and produces industrial automation systems. In the 1970s and 1980s, the company became a pioneer in the use of industrial robotics for the assembly of motor vehicles. Fiat assembly plants are among the most automated and advanced in the world.
The group is present in many countries, not only in the West. Notably, it was one of the first companies to build factories in Soviet territory, with the best known examples in Vladivostok, Kiev and Togliatti. The Russian government later continued the joint venture under the name AutoVAZ (known as Lada outside the former USSR). The venture was most notable for the Lada Riva. Fiat also has a subsidiary in Poland at Tychy, (formerly called FSM) where Fiat's small cars (the 126, Cinquecento,Seicento, Nuova 500 and Ford Ka) and small diesel engines are made. Fiat also has factories in Argentina, Brazil, and Italy. In addition, its cars are produced through licensing and joint-venture agreements in China, Egypt, France, India, South Africa, Turkey, and Vietnam. Local variants of Fiats are produced at these factories as well as a world car, the Palio. As of 2005, the company holds the first position in the Brazilian automobile market with a market share close to 25%.
Giovanni Agnelli founded Fiat in 1899 with several investors and led the company until his death in 1945.  By 1910, Fiat was the largest automotive company in Italy a position it has retained since.
In 1986, Fiat acquired Alfa Romeo from the Italian government. In 1993 Fiat acquired Maserati. In 1995 Alfa Romeo exited the U.S. market. Maserati re-entered the U.S. market under Fiat in 2002. Since then, Maserati sales there have been increasing briskly.

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