Italian automobiles have long had a certain myths around them, and for good reason. Fiat vehicles started as racing cars and have always maintained that design sensibility.
Racing from the start
Italian company Fiat first won a race in 1902, just three years after being founded and two years after the first factory was opened in Corso Dante. Fiat vehicles have been used for racing since that first uphill race, and the innovations have been used in almost every Fiat vehicle since then. Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino has been and continues to be one of the largest automobile makers in Italy and highest-end producers in the world.
Fiat and Chrysler
Fiat first started producing vehicles in the United States in 1908. The Poughkeepsie plant produced vehicles for Fiat until 1983. In January 2009, Fiat again entered the American market by purchasing a 20 percent stake in Chrysler LLC, meaning Fiat vehicles would be distributed and sold by the Chrysler distribution system and receive 15 percent additional consideration in the company by providing the technology for Chrysler to produce smaller, lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles in their North American plants.
The Fiat DNAIn addition to the partnership with Chrysler, Fiat's research, development and racing DNA can be found in a wide variety of other vehicle makes that are partially or almost entirely owned by Fiat Automobile Group. Alfa Romeo, Fiat Professional, Lancia and Ferrari are all at least partially owned by Fiat. The best names in racing and the best names in high-powered vehicles all have a piece of Fiat in their design and development.
Fiat vehicles have been forward-looking from the beginning. Fiat has had a hand in developing automotive, aeronautic and even farming equipment in the past. Fiat automobiles have been judged as having the lowest average carbon dioxide emissions in Europe, which has very tight emissions controls. Fiat has also developed solar-powered and electric vehicles for both concept and possible production runs.