Fiat was founded in 1899 as the Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino by Giovanni Agnelli. In 1902 he became general manager of this firm. As early as 1900, the first 24 Fiat cars were produced. Agnelli was a racing driver himself and Vincenzo Lancia also drove initially for Fiat.
In 1908 Fiat also became active in America under the name Fiat Automobile Co. And the company expanded the range to trams, trucks and ships. In the First World War, Fiat mainly produced for the army, but in 1922 a second factory was opened in Lingotto. This was a modern five-storey factory with a test track on the roof. At the time, this was the largest car factory in Europe.
After the war, Fiat recovered quickly. A new model was launched, the Fiat 509, with four seats. Fiat was a popular employer at the time, because the company did a lot for its staff in the form of education, sports clubs and health care. When Mussolini came to power in Italy, the company had to focus on the internal market. In those years, the company introduced two new models, the Balila and the Topolino. The latter would remain in production for 20 years, until 1955.
Fiat became a popular Italian car brand after the war with fame all over the world. The brand introduced several popular models, such as the 500, the panda and the 600. Fiat is still the largest car brand in Italy and the Fiat Group also manages brands such as Lancia, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. In the 21st century, Fiat even managed to take advantage of the crisis among the Americans and took over a large part of Chrysler. Chryslers have been marketed as Lancias in Europe for some time now.