Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino.

A brand of cars, made in Italy mostly close to city of Turin.

FIAT came up with some good and interesting cars, like the 500, and with some unspeakable lemons, like the Duna.
FIAT cars are supposed to fare poorly in high-salt environment, at least this is what my friends in Pennsylvania told me.

FIAT is the dual of Ferrari.

Fix It Again, Tony!

Here in the US, all Fiats are imported, so they are more expensive than Fords or Dodges. The problem with them is that they seem to break down very frequently.

On the Radio show Car talk, it's an ongoing joke about how unreliable they are. "If you want to get close to your mechanic, buy a Fiat." "If you own a Fiat, you had better have a second car to pass the time while the Fiat is in the shop." My uncle owned one in the 80's, and it seemed to break down every other week.

They are very popular in Europe, due to low price and decent gas mileage. They also make very compact cars (at least by American standards), and look similiar to Renault models. Fiat also manufactures mopeds and motorbikes.

If you go to Fiat's international homepage at Fiat.com, there's no listing for the US. There are also very very few in circulation in North America. They seem to have died out after the 70's-80's.

FIAT is going through very bad times right now. It's been struck by an economical crisis, caused by many reasons that I tend to simplify with the simple sentence "We ain't making enough money to keep going on".

What strikes me as odd is that everybody is asking themselves why is FIAT not making enough money, when the answer is under everybody's noses (seen as here in Italy we have FIATs just about everywhere): FIAT cars are crap. Even the cheapest Peugeot leaves any model of FIAT way, way behind.

People seem to be wisening up to this, and are buying less FIATs and more foreign-brand cars.

So why are FIATs crap?

They are built shoddily: no FIAT car can go for more than two years without developing the characteristic "birds chirping" sound, which reminds you, everytime you encounter a small irregularity on the road, of how every single part of the body is trying its best to separate itself from the others.

They look bad, and they go worse. The Multipla is quite possibly the ugliest car ever devised by a human mind (makes you wonder if it's actually been designed by a human mind). The Punto has a fault in the power steering: when you're maneuvering, it has the nasty habit of locking up, thus making turning the steering wheel harder than it'd be without any helping mechanism. Everything FIAT has done to date in regard to this was add in the owner's manual that the problem exists. Which, loosely translated, means: "We know about it, but we have no intention of fixing it. Tough, live with it".

User service is very lacking. When other brands will, when they discover a fault in the car model, repair it quickly and for free, FIAT will do nothing, except in very rare cases (i.e., when the fault could actually cause physical harm, and expose them to lawsuit risk. See the exhaust infiltrations in the cockpit on the Duna).

Plans to recover from the crisis involve either allowing the government to help with funding in exchange for having its hands in the business, or selling most of the brand to General Motors.

Perhaps when GM takes over FIAT will start producing cars worth something.

In policy debate, fiat is the magic wand that allows everyone involved to pretend that the affirmative plan is actually going to pass. Traditionally, the affirmative can fiat one action for the United States federal government, such as the passage of a single bill. Whether fiat should exist within debate or not has been a recent argument seen in many debate rounds, particularly ones involving kritiks. Since there are no official rules governing policy debate other than the speech times and the resolution, this is an argument that happens in actual rounds. The affirmative’s conception of fiat is usually assumed to be allowable unless the negative specifically challenges it. Many traditional judges are comfortable only in a round where fiat exists, so, as always in debate, it is important to argue for the judge and not yourself if you want to win.

Fi"at (?), n. [L., let it be done, 3d pers. sing., subj. pres., fr. fieri, used as pass. of facere to make. Cf. Be.]


An authoritative command or order to do something; an effectual decree.

His fiat laid the corner stone. Willis.

2. Eng.Law (a)

A warrant of a judge for certain processes.


An authority for certain proceedings given by the Lord Chancellor's signature.

Fiat money, irredeemable paper currency, not resting on a specie basis, but deriving its purchasing power from the declaratory fiat of the government issuing it.


© Webster 1913.

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