It was 60 years ago when Fiat decided to replace its Fiat 500 Tropolino with the new Fiat 500 model that was launched in 1957 .Over the next 20 years , 3.5 million Fiat 500s were produced ,making this well designed and engineered car, for its size and kerb weight of 1100lbs or 500 kgs , one of Italys iconic cars.Often referred to as the”Nuns Car”where white was the popular colour .Its successor in 1975 was the Fiat 126 and since then various Fiat 500 model releases have incorporated Fiats other high performance Ferrari such as Ferrari ,to appeal to a wider market.
Fiat over the last 60 years has emerged as a leading international car company .The purchase of Alfa Romeo from the Italian Government in the 1980s was followed by acquiring Ferrari and Maserati .Fiats appetite for growth contined with its merger with Chrylser but,like other USA car companies,the GFC put Fiat Chrysler in a higher risk profile .
To protect Fiats four major Italian car brands and its large USA financial exposure,Fiat through its energetic and strategic thinking CEO ,Sergio Marchionne used his financial engineering skills to gain 100% ownership of Fiat Chrysler .This was a protracted exercise involving several large minority shareholders hanging out for a higher exit price but Fiat eventually gained 100% . Marchionne’s next financial engineering strategy is to demerge Ferrari from the Fiat Group by offering public investors 80% ownership via an IPO.The IPO investment bank underwriters might offer preferred share allocations to Ferrari car owners giving short term sales a boost before the demerger.
According to recent financial press reports,the Fiat CEO already has identified his next move. A merger with General Motors.
Watch this space.
If successful ,we could see Fiat 500s with Holden motors .