Fiat – Twenty More Years Volume 3 is the final volume on 100 years of Fiat automobiles. A4 format, soft colour covers, 125 pages with 3-4 images per page. Includes Image Credits, References, Bibliography and an Index covering all three volumes, 1899-1999. ISBN 978-0-9547363-9-2.
This volume covers a period when rapid changes were taking place throughout Europe, including the collapse in 1989 of the USSR’s control of its eastern European empire, the Iron Curtain states of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and the DDR – East Germany. This was almost immediately followed by the collapse of the USSR itself.
New cars were being launched by Fiat, including the iconic Panda, the Uno, Tipo, Regata, Punto, Barchetta, Coupe, Cinquecento and Seicento, Bravo and Brava, Ulysse, Palio and finally the ‘ugly duckling’ Multipla. All Fiats were now front-wheel drive, the old 131 and Argenta rear-wheel drive cars were consigned to history.
Many changes took place within Fiat itself, with Gianni Agnelli searching for a family member able to take over from him when he retired. Several family members were groomed because Gianni’s only son, Edoardo, proved to be a dilettante and incompetent. Agnelli and his Rottweiler, Cesare Romiti, faced down the powerful Italian unions in a battle for control of the company in the face of strikes and social unrest, with Fiat unable to make the numbers of cars they wanted and the quality of those cars suffering as a result of inattention by workers on assembly-line. Automation was progressed as a result, eliminating many jobs. Nevertheless, this twenty-year period produced many sought-after Fiat models which are now regarded as classics.