Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors, including Giovanni Agnelli. During its more than century-long history, Fiat has also manufactured railway engines and carriages, military vehicles, farm tractors, and aircraft.
In 2013, Fiat (together with Chrysler) was the second largest European automaker by volumes produced, and the seventh in the world ahead ofHonda, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Suzuki, Renault, and Daimler AG.
Over the years, Fiat has acquired numerous other automakers: it acquired Lancia in 1968, became a shareholder of Ferrari in 1969, took control of Alfa Romeo from the Italian government in 1986, purchased Maserati in 1993, and became the full owner of Chrysler Group LLC in 2014. Fiat Group currently produces vehicles under twelve brands: Abarth, Alfa Romeo,Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Ram Trucks, and SRT.
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 is the largest vehicle manufacturer in Italy, with cars ranging from small Fiat city cars to sports cars made by Ferrari, and vans and trucks such as the Ducato. Besides Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A, Fiat Group automotive companies include Chrysler Group LLC and Maserati S.p.A.
The Fiat Group Automobiles S.p.A. companies include: Abarth & C. S.p.A., Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A., Fiat Automobiles S.p.A., Fiat Professional and Lancia Automobiles S.p.A..
Ferrari S.p.A. is 90% owned by the Fiat Group. The company also owns Autobianchi but the marque has been dormant since 1995, and Innocenti, which ceased production in 1996.
The European Car of the Year award, Europe’s premier automotive trophy for the past 50 years, has been awarded twelve times to the Fiat Group, more than any other manufacturer, most recently with the Fiat 500 in 2008.
Previous Fiat Group models which have won European Car of the Year: Fiat 124 (1967), Fiat 128 (1970), Fiat 127 (1972), Lancia Delta (1980), Fiat Uno (1984), Fiat Tipo (1989), Fiat Punto (1995), Fiat Bravo/Brava (1996), Alfa Romeo 156 (1998), Alfa Romeo 147 (2001) and the Fiat Panda (2004).