Italians are passionate people. They're passionate about design. Fashion. Life. Ah, la dolce vita.
From architecture and clothing to music and cars, Italian lifestyle has seeped into this country and influenced America in countless ways. The most recent manifestation of Italy's passion for innovation, beauty and design is the all-new FIAT 500.
FIAT has burst onto the U.S. auto market after a 30-year hiatus, with its new Cinquecento (500). This car giant is not a familiar name in America, so its dominance in the automobile market may come as a surprise to many. FIAT recently acquired Chrysler, and is now the sixth largest automobile manufacturer in the world. Rounding out its catalog of holdings are Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and New Holland, a farm equipment company. FIAT has remodeled two North American Chrysler plants and has recently produced the new award-winning, multi-air engine in Dundee, Michigan.
In 1908, FIAT built its first factory here in Poughkeepsie, New York. A team of 150 technicians assembled FIAT's first run of 24 cars for the U.S. market. FIAT was a premium brand with a price tag many times higher than that of the FORD Model-T. Production continued until the beginning of World War I, when the company returned home to Italy to concentrate its efforts on building trucks. FIAT returned to the American market in the late 1950's, remaining her until the early 1980's.
FIAT's re-entry into the U.S. market has created a buzz among car enthusiasts. And if "love at first site" exists for automobiles, then this is one such love. FIAT exudes Italy's unparalleled passion.