The Italian car maker, Configuration maker, industrial and financial group known as Fiat S.p.A. is currently based in the city of Turin in Italy. The company was founded in the year 1899 by a group of investors that included Giovanni Agnelli. The name Fiat is an acronym that stands for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Car Factory of Turin). Fiat could also be interpreted in Latin as “let there be.” At one point in time, Fiat was also a maker of aircrafts.
Fiat automobiles are currently manufactured all over the world, in such disparate locations as Italy, Brazil, Argentina, and Poland. Fiat also has joint ventures with companies in countries such as France, China, Turkey, India, Egypt, and South Africa.
The chairman of Fiat was Gianni Agnelli, grandson of Giovanni, between the years of 1966 and 2003. Between the years of 1996 and 2003, however, he only officially served as honorary chairman of the company, while the official chairman was Cesare Romiti. Afterwards, Paolo Fresco served as chairman, while Paolo Cantarella was the company’s CEO. Between the years of 2002 and 2004, Umberto Agnelli served as the chairman of Fiat. Upon Agnelli’s death in the year 2004, Luca Cordero di Montezemelo was chairman for a brief period. Shortly thereafter, John Elkann, heir of the Agnelli family, came on board at the age of twenty eight as vice chairman. Several other Agnelli family members remain on the board of Fiat. Once this came in to effect, Giuseppe Morchio, the company’s CEO, resigned. In the year 2004, Sergio Marchionne was named his replacement.
At the beginning of its existence, the focus of Fiat was on the industrial production of automobiles, as well as agricultural and industrial vehicles. Over time, Fiat’s interest diversified in to a number of other fields. Today, Fiat is the largest industrial concern in Italy.
Above - The new Fiat 500, the inspiration from the design of the Fiat 500 came from the previous model of the Fiat 500, which was produced in the late 1950's to the early 70's.