In the 1950s Fiat unveiled the 500, which was a raging success in Italy. Despite their success at home, Fiat struggled to find solid footing on American soil. Some Americans favored the Fiat 1500, but the company has stiff competition against American auto manufacturers. Throughout the 1970s Fiat introduced the 850 Spider and Coupe, which had a measure of popularity. Even so, several other Fiat brands proved less appealing. In 1984 Fiat pull-out of the American market in the face of increasing emissions regulations.
In 2000 General Motors purchased a portion of Fiat. The joint venture was intended to develop a line of compact and price-conscious vehicles for European buyers. Financial woes complicated this agreement in 2005, but Fiat rebounded well and developed more efficient emission technology which passed American standards.
In 2009 Fiat purchased controlling interest in the now bankrupt company Chrysler. This provided Fiat a built-in network of dealerships, and in exchange, Fiat developed a line of smaller vehicles. After two years of development Fiat introduced the Fiat 500 to American buyers in 2011. The 500 is available in three models, including a convertible and hatchback. Early reception for Fiat has been good and the future looks bright for Italian auto maker.