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Thursday, 29 January 2015


Giovanni Agnelli (1866 -1945) was born in Piedmont, North Italy on August 13, 1866. He studied at a military academy, and became a cavalry officer. In 1899 he co-founded Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino).Within a year he was the company's managing director. Agnelli was still active with Fiat at the start of the Second World War, and died soon after it ended in 1945 at the age of 79.

Giovanni Agnelli

The first Fiat plant opened in 1900 with 35 staff making 24 cars.

In 1906 the first Fiat car dealer in US was established, in Manhattan, New York.

Fiat's Lingotto factory was completed in 1923. Unlike any other automobile factory to date, it was designed so that each car would progress upwards story by story as it was assembled until it was finalized at the top, where it would be tested on a rooftop test track.

The practical and affordable Fiat 500 was launched in 1957. Measuring only three metres long, and originally powered by an appropriately sized 479 cc two-cylinder, air-cooled engine, it is considered one of the first city cars (see below). Production didn't end till 1975.

The Fiat 127 was the first modern supermini. Introduced in 1971 as the replacement for the Fiat 850, iIt could do 0-60 mph in a then-impressive 15 seconds, and over 12 years more than four million rolled off the production line. Production of the 127 in Italy ended in 1983 following the introduction of its replacement, the Fiat Uno.

Source The Independent March 3 2008

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