Fiat Trattori, an Italian manufacturer of tractors, has a rich history that spans over a century. The company began producing tractors in 1918 with its first model, the Fiat 702, which had 30 horsepower. From there, Fiat Trattori continued to innovate and expand its product line, producing tractors of varying sizes and capabilities.
Over the years, Fiat Trattori has become a household name in the agricultural industry, with its tractors being used all over the world. Some of the key years and models in the company’s history include the 1920s, when Fiat Trattori introduced the 18-24 HP model, and the 1970s, when it launched the 90 Series, a line of high-power tractors. The company’s commitment to innovation and quality has made it a trusted brand among farmers and agricultural workers.
Today, Fiat Trattori is a subsidiary of CNH Industrial, a global leader in the capital goods sector. The company continues to produce high-quality tractors that are known for their reliability, durability, and performance. In this article, we will explore the key years and models in the history of Fiat Trattori, highlighting the innovations and advancements that have made the company a leader in the agricultural industry.
Origins of Fiat Tractors
The Inception of Fiat Trattori
Fiat Trattori, the agricultural machinery division of Fiat, was founded in 1919 in Modena, Italy. The division was established to manufacture tractors, which were becoming increasingly popular in Italy at the time.
The first tractor produced by Fiat Trattori was the Fiat 702, which had 30 horsepower (22 kW). The model 702 was followed by the Fiat 700C, which was an updated version of the 702.
Fiat’s First Models: Fiat 702 and Fiat 700C
The Fiat 702 was the first Italian tractor to be produced on a large scale. It was a four-wheeled, petrol-powered machine that was designed for use on small farms. The tractor was very popular in Italy and was exported to many other countries. The Fiat 700C was an updated version of the 702. It was a diesel-powered tractor that was more powerful and efficient than its predecessor. The 700C was also very popular and was exported to many countries around the world.
Expansion and Innovation During Interwar Period
During the interwar period, Fiat Trattori expanded its range of tractors and introduced many new models. In 1924, the company introduced the Fiat 18-24, which was the first Italian tractor with a diesel engine. The 18-24 was a very popular tractor and was used on many farms in Italy. In 1932, Fiat Trattori introduced the Fiat 25, which was the first Italian tractor with a three-point hitch. The three-point hitch allowed implements to be attached to the tractor more easily and quickly, making the tractor more versatile and efficient.
Post-War Developments and Global Expansion
After World War II, Fiat Trattori faced the challenge of rebuilding its factories and production lines. Despite the difficulties, the company managed to launch the Fiat 600 series in 1955, which became a popular model in Italy and other European countries.
Reconstruction and the Fiat 600 Series
The Fiat 600 tractor series was a significant milestone for the company. It was the first tractor model to be developed entirely in-house by Fiat Trattori and was designed to be versatile, reliable, and affordable. The series included several models, such as the 640, 650, and 680, which were produced between 1955 and 1965.
Fiat’s Growth into the European Agricultural Market
During the 1960s and 1970s, Fiat Trattori expanded its operations into other European countries, such as France, Germany, and Spain. The company’s success in the European agricultural market was due to its ability to produce high-quality tractors at competitive prices.
Entering North America: Fiat Concord and CNH Industrial
In the 1980s, Fiat Trattori entered the North American market through a joint venture with the Ford Motor Company. The partnership resulted in the creation of the Fiat Concord, a line of tractors produced in the United States. However, the venture was short-lived, and in 1991, Fiat Trattori merged with New Holland to form CNH Industrial.
Today, CNH Industrial is a global leader in the production of agricultural equipment, construction machinery, and commercial vehicles. The company’s success is a testament to the legacy of Fiat Trattori and its commitment to innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction.
Key Models and Series
Fiat Trattori has produced a wide range of tractors over the years, ranging from small field tractors to high-power crawlers. Here are some of the key models and series that have helped to shape the company’s history.
Diamante Series and the 44-28
The Diamante series was launched in 1962 and was notable for its sleek, modern design. These tractors were powered by Fiat’s own engines and were available in a range of sizes, from 40 to 80 horsepower.
Fiat 1000 series
In 1968 Fiat produced the 250, 450, 550, 650 and 850 models all with a 4-cylinder Fiat engine, soon followed by the 1000 and 1300 6-cylinder tractors. These tractors were destined for European farms and soon the Fiat brand was becoming renowned for producing powerful reliable tractors.
The 80 Series Tractors
The Fiat 80 Series tractors, unveiled in the 1970s, represented a significant leap forward in agricultural machinery, and the first in the world to have a cab that was designed as part of the tractor. Up to this point most tractor cabs were made by other manufacturers and were simply bolted on whether they looked good or not. Crafted in collaboration with Pininfarina, the esteemed Italian design firm renowned for its automotive contributions, the cab of the 80 Series tractors exuded both sophistication and functionality.
Pininfarina’s expertise brought a new level of aesthetic refinement to the tractors, setting them apart with sleek lines and ergonomic considerations. The cab was not merely a shelter from the elements; it provided operators with a comfortable and intuitive workspace, complete with noise insulation and accessible controls.
Powered by formidable engines, the Fiat 80 Series tractors delivered consistent performance across various agricultural tasks. Their engines were renowned for their durability and efficiency, making them suitable for prolonged use in challenging conditions.
Versatility was a hallmark of the Fiat 80 Series tractors. They were adept at handling a wide array of agricultural operations, from ploughing and tilling to planting and harvesting, making them indispensable on farms of all sizes.
Despite encountering challenges like the transition to lower link sensing in the hydraulic lift system, the Fiat 80 Series tractors were known to be one of the most reliable tractors to own. Farmers trusted these machines to perform consistently, contributing to their widespread use and popularity.
Another notable series from this era was the 44-28, part of the Fiat-Versatile 44 Series. These high-power tractors were produced between 1979 and 1983 and were available in a range of sizes, from 230 to 350 horsepower. They were designed for heavy-duty work and were popular with large-scale farmers and contractors.
The Popular 90 Series
The 90 series was introduced in 1984 and quickly became one of Fiat’s most popular ranges. These tractors were available in a range of sizes, from 55 to 180 horsepower, and were designed to be able to do everything on the farm, from ploughing and tilling to hauling and transport. The 90 series was notable for its reliability, durability and fantastic engines, and many of these tractors are still in use today.
The 90 series although similar in shape to to 80’s series offered more improvements for the operator. The gear lever was positioned to the right side of the cab instead of the middle of the floor – this made access to the cab seat much easier. The lift controls had “lift o matic” – which raised the lift arms and lowered them to the same settings at the push of a button. A telescopic steering wheel was also one of the many improvements made to this series.
The Fiatagri 110-90 tractor stands out as a hallmark of innovation and performance in the agricultural machinery landscape. Introduced as part of the Fiatagri 90 Series, this model quickly gained recognition for its power, versatility, and reliability, making it a popular choice among farmers worldwide.
It continued production under the New Holland badge right up until 2003 even though the 90 series range of tractors finished production in 1998 such was the demand for this iconic tractor. In 1999 the 110-90 was produced with New Holland on the bonnet but remained the distinctive terracotta colour, which changed to New Holland blue for the final 2- 3 years of production.
Fiat’s Winner Series
The Winner series or F series was launched in 1990 and was in production until 1996. The first models were the F100 F110 F120 and F130. In 1993 the F series got a facelift and changed its model lineup slightly to the F100, F115 F130 and F140.
The Winner Series used the highly reliable Iveco 8000 series engine from the 6-cylinder 90 series models, a factory-fitted turbo was on the F130 and F140 tractors.
The Winner series provided the operator with a new cab, which had more space, more advanced technology and high levels of comfort. These tractors were available in a range of sizes, from 100 to 140 horsepower, and were designed for a variety of tasks, from light duties to highly demanding work. The Winner series was also notable for its fuel efficiency and low emissions.
In 1993 The G series was released. These tractors were large framed and high horsepower tractors, mainly destined for the American market, although some were in use on large arable farms in the UK.
The M series tractors followed on from the Winner series in 1996, they were available in the following models, M100, M115 M135 M160. They had an all-new 7.5 litre Powerstar engine and push-button gears were available on higher spec models. They were badged as New Holland with a small Fiatagri below the model number and were terracotta in colour.
Mergers and Brand Evolution
From Fiat Trattori to New Holland
In 1991, Fiat Trattori became a part of the New Holland Agriculture brand, which was created after the acquisition of Ford-New Holland by Fiat. New Holland Agriculture is a global agricultural machinery brand that produces tractors, hay and forage equipment, harvesting, crop production, and material handling equipment.
The Fiatagri Era
In 1999, Fiatagri was merged with New Holland to create CNH Global, a global agriculture and construction equipment manufacturer. The merger created one of the largest agricultural and construction equipment companies in the world. Fiatagri was founded in 1984 after the merger of Fiat Trattori, Laverda, and Hesston. The company produced a wide range of tractors, harvesters, and other agricultural machinery.
The Formation of CNH Global
CNH Global (Case/ New Holland) was formed after the merger of Fiat Industrial and CNH Global N.V. in 2013. The merger created one of the largest capital goods companies in the world, with a strong focus on agricultural and construction equipment. CNH Global produces tractors, harvesters, and other agricultural machinery under the New Holland Agriculture, Case IH, and Steyr brands.