Immediately following the war, Poland turned to Fiat once again for production of a new model under license, but the contract was suspended as a result of Soviet intervention. The two parties began talks again in the early 1960s, and this led to the production of the Polski Fiat 125p, with some 1.5 million units made between 1967 and 1991.
In the early 1970s, the Polish government awarded Fiat the tender for production of the Fiat 126 under license. At the time, there was no smaller, more affordable car in all of Europe and the Polish government was eager to develop mass mobility. In July 1973, the first units rolled off the lines of the new government-owned FSM assembly plant in Bielsko-Biała. Two years later, production also began at the new plant in Tychy, which was a greenfield construction based on the design of the Fiat plant in Cassino, Italy.
In 1987, Fiat and the Polish People’s Republic signed an agreement for production of the Cinquecento under license for sale in markets across Europe. It was the first time that a global manufacturer had chosen a Communist-bloc country to produce a model of strategic importance. In the meantime, Poland underwent a period of unprecedented political upheaval that radically altered the country’s economic and industrial environment.
Fiat Assumes Management
In 1992, Fiat Auto acquired FSM from the Polish government and established Fiat Auto Poland. Fiat Auto concentrated auto assembly in Tychy and engine production in Bielsko-Biała. A series of highly successful models were produced in Poland, such as the Fiat Seicento, Fiat Panda, Fiat and Abarth versions of the 500, and Lancia Ypsilon, as well as advanced powertrains such as the MultiJet 1.3 turbo diesel.
Today, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles operates in Poland through FCA Poland and FCA Powertrain Poland.
The Tychy plant currently produces the Fiat 500, Abarth 500 and Lancia Ypsilon, with more than 260,000 units produced in 2019. The Bielsko-Biała plant currently produces the FireFly 1.0 and 1.3 turbo, MultiJet 1.3 turbo diesel, and TwinAir 0.9 powertrains. FCA employs a total of 6,100 people in Poland.