July 11, 1899 – Fiat is founded

Count Emanuele Cacherano of Bricherasio was seeking investors in a horseless carriage project and Giovanni Agnelli wanted in. Agnelli paid $400 to buy into the founding of Fabbrica Italiana di Automobili Torino, which occurred on this day in 1899. Translated to English, Italian Automobiles Factory, Turin, or FIAT, as it is known, opened its first factory in 1900 with Agnelli appointed as managing director. He oversaw a staff of 35 who produced 24 cars that year. Production grew to 135 per year cars by 1904 and 1149 cars in 1906, by which time FIAT had opened a dealership in New York City. Pictured is a 1911 Fiat.