How long has the FIAT brand been around? – Chattanooga, TN

FIAT History

FIAT History - Italian Automotive Excellence

Serving Chattanooga, Cleveland, Red Bank, Hixson, TN

Crown FIAT of Chattanooga maintains a large inventory of new and used FIATs, and operates a service and parts department catering to FIAT car owners as well as all other major car brands. The sales and service departments have received five-star reviews with comments like, “Love my cute little car!” and “Crown Chattanooga Awesome!”

When did the FIAT brand start?

FIAT was chartered as an Italian automotive company in 1899, four years before Henry Ford started his company. Under the leadership of Giovanni Agnelli, FIAT produced 24 cars in 1900, using 150 employees. Eight years later, FIAT opened its first company in the United States, and 101 years after that FIAT acquired Chrysler. After the conclusion of World War I, FIAT continued to grow quickly and moved to a mass production model for its automobiles. FIAT managers cut production costs and a separate finance company was established, so FIATs were more affordable and easier to buy. FIAT was one of the first companies to recognize its success was tied to employee well-being, and started a health plan, sports and recreational clubs and other perks for its employees.

When did FIAT introduce the FIAT 500?

The Allied Forces' assault on Italy during World War II destroyed many of FIAT’s factories, but in 1948 facility reconstruction started. The original FIAT 500 was introduced in the early 1950s, which included never-before offered in-cabin ventilation and heating systems. The FIAT 600 debuted in 1955, with its engine mounted in the rear. In 1957 a redesigned FIAT 500 was introduced to the public. Trade union conflicts in Italy during the 1960s stunted FIAT’s growth, but in 1971 the FIAT 127 was released, to great critical and public acclaim. The FIAT 127 was the first FIAT to feature front-wheel drive and was named 1971 Car of the Year. In 1978, FIAT upgraded its manufacturing robotic systems to manufacture cars more efficiently. During the 1980s, FIAT acquired other Italian automakers, such as Lancia, Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

Award winning cars come to America.

The FIAT Uno replaced the 127 in 1982 and represented FIAT’s renaissance. The FIAT Tipo, a hatchback, debuted in 1989 and was named the European Car of the Year Award in 1989. FIAT started manufacturing SUVs in 1994, and in 1995 the FIAT Bravo won the European Car of the Year Award for 1996. The 1990s saw unique challenges for FIAT, due to increased competition. FIAT responded by expanding its international footprint. FIAT’s acquisition of Chrysler in 2009 gave it full access to the North American auto market, through its authorized dealer network.


Crown FIAT of Chattanooga sells and services today’s FIAT models, which offer great fuel economy and superb handling. Treat yourself to FIAT test drive and see how over a century of engineering innovation makes you feel.

* EPA estimated MPG may vary by transmission, trim and individual driving behavior.

Crown FIAT® of Chattanooga
2120 Chapman Rd
Chattanooga, TN 37421

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