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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Akademie Verlag June 1, 2010

Italian Big Business and The Italian Automotive Industry. Fiat Internationalization in the Vittorio Valletta Era and its ongoing Reorganization (1946-1972)

Chiara Casalino


An international dimension has characterized the automotive industry since its origins, both as far as supply is concerned, where the car product results from the convergence of a series of multiple design innovations and continuous improvements in manufacturing processes, and as far as demand is concerned, given the narrowness of the home markets and the homogeneity of the buyers’ social peculiarities. One observation is particularly appropriate in the case of Italy: in the early twentieth century, Fiat was already making some two thirds of its turnover from sales on foreign markets and, absorbing more than 60 percent of vehicles produced in the twenties and again 3540 per cent at the end of the next decade, this proved to be the preferred outlet for its production.

The research that this paper summarises is inspired by this statement and takes as the analysis target the adoption of the internationalization theme as a key to understanding and guiding the reconstruction of the history of the automotive industry, and the Fiat enterprise, who was the first in Italy to embrace a development model no longer based solely on import substitution, but on the willingness and ability to compete with companies in industrially advanced countries.

Contextually, the monitoring of the temporal evolution of this process, emphasizing the years between the interwar period and the years of the economic boom, helped to expand the different meanings of the same concept of internationalization. The study of the first stage of Fiat’s international growth (§ 1) and of its foreign presence both in terms of the product and of foreign investments during Vittorio Valletta’s management (§ 2), is combined with the review of the reorganization and relaunching plans created in the immediate subsequent years (§ 3) in order to produce some final thoughts on the various stages of the major Italian car company′s internationalization process (§ 4).

Online erschienen: 2010-6-1
Erschienen im Druck: 2010-6-1

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