- This article is about Fiat the automobile manufacturer. Fiat is also an English word meaning the exercise of authority; see Fiat money and military fiat. The Latin word fiat means "let it be."
Fiat S.p.A. is an automobile manufacturer, financial and industrial group based in Turin, northern Italy.
The name is the acronym of Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Car Factory of Turin), founded by Giovanni Agnelli. His grandson Gianni Agnelli was Fiat chairman from 1966 until his death in January 2003, when he was succeeded by his brother Umberto Agnelli. After Umberto Agnelli's death, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo was named chairman, but Agnelli heir John Elkann became vice chairman at age 28 and other family members are on the board. At this point, CEO Giuseppe Morchio immediately offered his resignation. Sergio Marchionne was named to replace him on June 1, 2004.
History and activities
The group's activities were initially focused on the industrial production of cars, industrial and agricultural vehicles. Over time it has diversified into many other fields, and the group now has activities in a wide range of sectors in industry and financial services. It is Italy's largest industrial concern. It also has significant worldwide operations, operating in 61 countries with 1,063 companies that employ over 223,000 people, 111,000 of whom are outside Italy. Fiat built the famous Lingotto car factory, opened in 1923.
Fiat corporation, starting from the late 1960s, has bought (or gained control of) a wide range of companies, including:
- Agricultural vehicles - Fiat group also owns CNH Global , New Holland and the Canadian Flexy-Coils
- Construction vehicles, produced by Fiat-Hitachi Construction and New Holland Construction.
- Buses - produced with the Fiat, Iveco or Irisbus names
- Aviation - aircraft and related components were produce by FiatAvio (now Avio , an independent company), which also controls EVL, a space industry.
- Vehicle components - the major Italian component maker Magneti-Marelli is owned by Fiat, and in turn owns the other brands Carello, Automotive Lighting, Siem, Cofap, Jaeger, Solex, Veglia Borletti, Vitaloni, Automotive Lighting and Weber; other accessory brands include Riv-Skf and Brazilian Cofap.
- Steelmaking and metallurgy - Fiat owns Teksid and produces machines for the industry (also for car factories) with Comau (now Comau Systems), which bought the American Pico, Renault Automation and Sciaky.
- Publishing - notably, Fiat group also owns important editorial brands, like La Stampa (created in 1926 for the famous newspaper), Itedi, Italiana Edizioni. Some national and local newspapers are owned or otherwise controlled by the different companies. A specialised advertising space reseller is Publikompass, supported by the Consorzio Fiat Media Center.
- Financial services - An important insurance company, Toro Assicurazioni, allows Fiat to control a relevant part of this market (also with minor companies like Lloyd Italico, Augusta Assicurazioni) and to interact with some associated banks.
- Construction - Ingest Facility and Fiat Engineering work in various fields of construction, while IPI is a mediation company that also deals with the management of real estate properties.
- Information technology - Fiat is present in IT fields and in communications with ICT - Information & Communication Technology, Espin, Global Value, TeleClient, Atlanet.
- Leisure The group owns the Sestrieres skiing facilities (being this village on Alps a creation of Agnelli family).
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.
- Other services Fiat Gesco, KeyG Consulting, Sadi Customs Services, Easy Drive, RM Risk Management and Servizio Titoli are minor companies that work for public services, delivering services in economics and financial fields. Other activities include industrial securitisation (Consorzio Sirio), treasury (Fiat Geva), Fiat Information & Communication Services.
Fiat supports the Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli, an important foundation for social and economic research. Palazzo Grassi, a famous ancient building in Venice, now a museum and formerly supported by Fiat, was eventually sold to the Venice casino in January 2005.
The group is present in many countries, not only in the West. Notably, it was one of the first companies to built factories in soviet controlled countries, with the best known examples in Vladivostok, Kyiv and Togliattigrad. Being AutoVAZ (Lada), (most notably for the Lada Riva). Fiat also has a subsidiary in Poland at Tychy,(formerly called FSM) where Fiat's small cars (the 126, Cinquecento and now Seicento) are made. Fiat has factories in Brazil, Turkey, China and India, where local variants of Fiats are produced as well as the world car, the Palio.
Fiat models imported into the USA were so infamous for poor reliability that the acronym FIAT was said to stand for "Fix it again, Tony".
Fiat Car Models
European Car of the Year Awards
Fiat cars have won the European Car of the Year Award 8 times
- 1967: Fiat 124
- 1970: Fiat 128
- 1972: Fiat 127
- 1984: Fiat Uno
- 1989: Fiat Tipo
- 1995: Fiat Punto
- 1996: Fiat Brava/Bravo
- 2004: Fiat Panda (New)
Puns about Fiat
Fiat's history of cheap cars has left a negative image in many countries, especially Germany, where Fiat cars are considered unreliable and badly built. Among the most common puns:
- Fix It Again, Tony.
- Für Italien Ausreichende Technik (Technology sufficient for Italy)
- Fehler In Allen Teilen (Mistakes in every part)