Fiat,Heritage | July 12 2019

FIAT celebrates 120 years of Italian style, innovation and motoring

The roots of the FIAT brand stretch back to July 11, 1899, when a group of entrepreneurs founded Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino in Italy.

Since it was established 120 years ago, FIAT has created iconic vehicles that have captivated the motoring public, including the modern 124 Spider roadster and 500X crossover.

The first model produced by the company was the 3½ HP. A total of 24 units were made in the first year at the Turin plant, which was the only factory making cars in Italy at the time.

Fiat 3½ HP

Seven years later, FIAT launched the Tipo, a car that used standardized components, which helped propel its popularity through the years. 

Other notable dates in FIAT history include:

  • 1936 – FIAT introduced the Fiat 500 A Topolino (literal meaning is “little mouse” and the Italian name for Disney’s Mickey Mouse), which was the smallest mass-produced car in the world at the time
Fiat Topolino
  • 1939 – The company’s flagship Mirafiori plant was built in Turin and is FIAT’s industrial headquarters, as well as the oldest factory in Europe still in production
  • 1951 – The first Italian jet aircraft, the Fiat G80, was produced. In the years that followed, FIAT introduced cars including the X1/9, the Panda, the Uno, the Croma and the Punto
Fiat X1/9
  • 2007 – FIAT relaunched the new 500
Fiat 500
  • 2012 – The brand began to introduce larger models with the 500L, followed by the 500X crossover in 2014
  • 2015 – Fiat 124 Spider returns nearly 50 years after original introduction
Fiat 124 Spider Classica

These various models continue to be celebrated and revered on the road, in museums and by owners and owner groups, including Fiat Club America, which is celebrating its annual Fiat FreakOut this weekend.

Explore the various FIAT models and breadth of available features at FiatUSA.com.

Edward Cardenas

Hello from the Motor City! I’m Edward Cardenas and I’m multimedia editor for FCA US. As a lifelong Detroiter, I have been surrounded by the automotive industry. I’ve had members of my immediate and extended family work in the industry. I’ve covered it as a journalist and advocated for it
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Hello from the Motor City! I’m Edward Cardenas and I’m multimedia editor for FCA US. As a lifelong Detroiter, I have been surrounded by the automotive industry. I’ve had members of my immediate and extended family work in the industry. I’ve covered it as a journalist and advocated for it as a communications professional. I have also experienced the thrills of the industry while riding in a race car at nearly 200 miles per hour. Having this breadth of experience, I look forward to drawing upon my experiences to bring a wide range of stories, photos and videos about Chrysler, FIAT and Alfa Romeo to FCA Digital Media. When I’m not covering my brands, I’m spending time with my wife and two boys.