|The Fiat 500, named after its engine size. Called the Bambina in NZ.|
Back in the 1960s, Italy was getting over World War II and starting to prosper. Car sales were rising and just about everyone was buying a Fiat car. I assume import duties made sure that the home brands were the value option.
Below in the chart we see that Fiat had about 3 in every 4 sales for much of the decade. The top four brands had a staggering 95% of the market in 1960, all of them local makes. In case you are wondering 'A R' is Alfa Romeo, 'Lan' Lancia, 'Aut' Autobianchi and 'Inn' Innocenti. The sales figures are in thousands. Fiat for example sold 851,000 in Italy in 1967.
|The beautiful Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sport. I had one as a dinky car.|
Autobianchi was part owned by Fiat, was a higher priced brand than Fiat, was used to test new features before they were introduced to Fiat models and - like Fiats - were small cars. It was eventually merged into Lancia.
Innocenti made BMC cars under licence and they proved quite popular. However, when BL got into financial problems of its own, it eventually and understandably impacted on the brand.