1904 F.I.A.T (By Brian Corey) When Count Emanuele Cacherano of Bricherasio announced a need for investors in a horseless carriage business, Giovanni Agnelli answered the call. 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 cars in 1904 and 1149 cars in 1906. By that time FIAT opened its first dealership in New York City.