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Turin's Economy

Brief Economic History of Turin. The first impulse to Turin's economy is in 1620, with the first enlargement launched by Carlo Emanuele 1st; but it is in the Risorgimento, most of all in the period in which it's the Kingdom's capital, from 1861 to 1864, that Turin begins to show its increasing industrial vocation.

It is in this period that the traditional urban structure is left behind: in the city of Turin which still traced out the plant of the ancient Roman colony, it was introduced the 'rays system' (sistema a raggiera), with the creation of the first labourers' barriers, out of the Dazi surrounding wall.

In the beginning of the 20th century, a historical age which represents a strong revival most of all after the loss of the political primacy of the capital, the development will be riotous with the birth of the great industry and the resulting immigration from the South.

Today Turin is known at economic-level most of all for the metalmechanics production, due to the automobile factory FIAT and to its allied industries. There are other sectors in which the city stands out, such as the chocolate and Gianduiotto's production (which takes the name from the local mask Gianduia, whose name comes from "Gioan 'dla duja" that is "Giovanni of the noggin"), Turin's specialty.

Turin gave the natives to the important Italian firms. In addition to FIAT, in Turin have been founded also the telephone operator SIP, later become Telecom Italia, Seat, EIAR later become RAI, Lavazza, Cirio, Lancia and important banks as the Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino. First homeland of Italian Cinema, it is an appreciated location for films' setting and production.

History of FIAT

The FIAT (acronym of 'Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino', that is, 'Cars Italian Factory of Turin') was born in Turin in 1899, as Italian production house of cars, by Giovanni Agnelli senior and by several other associates, subsequently developed in several fields giving birth to the most important industrial and financial italian private company.

After a first period of hard growth, marked by many recapitalizations and by changes in the composition of the financial capital (which not always occured in a pacific way but also flowed into trials considered sensational at the time), the property of the automobile house was taken almost completely by Giovanni Agnelli, who will become senator during Fascism and will remain the leader of the company until the end of the Second World War. After Agnelli risked to lose the property of the company due to his involvement with the fascist regime, he passed on the torch to Valletta, since his one male son Edoardo died on an air crash.

Vittorio Valletta, on behalf of the Agnelli family, attempted to hold one of the few Italian companies which were not completely brought on their knees by the defeat. He succeeded in bringing it up again and at the same time he gave the Agnelli family's young heir the qualification for the role he would have had to take as soon as possible. Giovanni Agnelli, the heir, called Gianni and best-known as "l' Avvocato" (the Lawyer), was born in Turin on 12th March 1921. He became president of FIAT in 1966 until his 75th birthday, when he was forced to give up the chairmanship by the statuesque law.

At first the office was taken by the ex-managing director Cesare Romiti and then it was taken by a general manager, Paolo Fresco, who worked for many years at General Electric in the USA.

The crisis of the company led to the chairmanship of the brother Umberto Agnelli and after his death, it was the turn of Luca Cordero di Montezemolo; the heir nominated by the Agnelli's family, John Elkann, was appointed deputy chairman at the age of 28 and other family members belonged to the board of directors. The managing director, Giuseppe Morchio, who resigned, was substituted by Sergio Marchionne since the 1st of June 2004.

The managing of Gianni Agnelli marked the transformation of the nineteenth-century "little farm" and turned it from an urban factory to a multinational company. The increase, which was certainly supported by the economical boom of the 60s, was incomparable in the national field and it was considerable also in comparison to foreign countries.

In the beginning the activities and the strategies of this company were only addressed to the cars industrial production (and a little later to the industrial and agricultural cars too). With the passing of time and because of the changed marketplace state and the steady structure of the company, they orientated towards a diversification in many more fields.

At present the company has got activities in a big range of industry fields and in financial services. It is the biggest Italian business company, that also boasts of remarkable activities abroad, where it is present in 61 nations with 1063 companies which employ more than 223.000 persons, of who 111.000 are out of Italy.

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