The largest Italian automotive corporation has its head office in Turin. The company manufactures passenger cars, sports cars, trucks and various industrial and agricultural machines. FIAT owns several enterprises for production of air space machines.
The company was established in 1899 by J. Anelli and according to the idea of its founder it should have been manufacturing cars by license from Renault with De Dion power engines. At the beginning the company had about 150 workers who had manufactured the first Fiat 31/2. The car was not popular with the market as it lacked the reverse gear.
In 1903 the Italian authorities cancelled customs tax for steel import which immediately produced a positive effect on industry: it gave a start to big production of cars, buses, trucks as well as various power plants.
The company became famous after the first world record when in 1906 «Fiat 300 HP Record» having the 290 h/p engine accelerated up to 200 km/h. The champion status confirmation had not been long in coming and in 1911 the S61 model with 10.5 liter engine won the race of Grand Prix in France.
By the beginning of the 1920s FIAT became the largest company in Italy. Many people believe that this success should be credited to the chief manager of the company Vittorio Valletta as he in fact had been managing the company during the rebuilding and renovation of the factory after the Second World War as the production facilities have been severely destroyed during the warfare and besides they had been nationalized.
In the beginning of the 60s the company was privatized and headed by Anelli family. Fiat has built an automotive plant in the USSR in Stavropol-na-Volge (later renamed into Togliatti). In 1969 the FIAT concern comprised Lancia.
In 1986 FIAT purchased Alfa Romeo and its branch companies thus strengthening its positions in the world market. The policy led by the company had soon enabled it to present the market with the new model of Alfa 164. Following Alfa 164 there had been produced a series of models, amongst which there was Alfa 156 that became the car of the year 1997 in Europe.
Today FIAT comprises such companies as Ferrari, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Maserati. The concern also possesses a number of tractor manufacturing factories.
In the end of 2005 the FIAT concern made an agreement with the Russian company «Severstal-Avto» for assembly of Italian cars in Russia. They plan to assemble in Russia such models as Palio, Albea, Doblo, Grande Punto and D-200.