By Rod Ward
The products of the Fiat industrial conglomerate span every engineering sector. This publication covers Fiat cars and commercial vehicles, with a sidebar on aircraft, but among many other activities Fiat also built ships, marine engines and railway rolling stock. Fiat has taken over a number of other car makers down the years, including SPA, Ansaldo, OM, Bianchi, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Autobianchi, Ferrari and Maserati, none of whose stories is told here, though some get a mention. Alfa Romeo and Lancia already have Auto Review publications devoted to them, and we hope to add more titles in future on Italian marques. A number of minor Italian makes were Fiat-based, including Abarth, Siata and Moretti, but there is no space here to describe their products in detail. Such was the hold which Fiat exerted on the Italian economy that as early as 1927 80% of commercial vehicles made in Italy were Fiats, and in 1962 85% of all vehicles made in Italy came from Fiat-controlled companies. The percentage increased over succeeding decades until almost all Italian vehicle production was by the Fiat group. The acquisition of Chrysler resulted in the Fiat Chrysler group being the second largest producer of vehicles in Europe and the seventh largest in the world.