Fiat Finito

Leaving the U.S. market

Regardless of undercoating or other protective measures taken by their owners, some Fiat cars rusted rapidly on U.S. roads in the 1970s. That problem and others led wags to proclaim Fiat an acronym for Fix It Again Tony. Partly as a result, sales dropped from a high of 100,511 cars in 1975 to last year's 14,113. Last week Fiat announced that it was pulling out of the American market.

Fiat had only two models in the U.S. anyway, the X1/9 and the flashy Spider 2000, assembled by Coachmakers Bertone and Pininfarina,...

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