Post World War II story
After the Second World War , the Milan-based company Bianchi , which had been founded by Eduardo Bianchi at the end of the 19th century and had also produced automobiles since 1905, was unable to resume automobile production alone for financial reasons. In 1955, Bianchi founded the Autobianchi company together with Fiat and Pirelli , which in 1968 became the sole property of Fiat. In 1958 the first Autobianchi model Bianchina began to be sold .
From 1967 Autobianchi was a full subsidiary of Fiat. Fiat used the Autobianchi brand to try out the new technology of front-wheel drive with transverse engine and mostly also tailgate in small series on the market, without endangering the reputation of the Fiat brand. The Primula was the first car from the Fiat group that was equipped with this technology. In addition, the Autobianchi have always been designed and equipped a little more elegantly than the basic Fiat models. They served a niche market and were consequently more expensive.
The A111 and the A112 appeared later . The A111 was a four-door mid-range sedan similar to the Fiat 124 on the Primula platform , i.e. with a transverse engine and front-wheel drive, which was the forerunner of the Fiat 128 in its conception . The situation was similar in the case of the A112, which technically and conceptually anticipated the Fiat 127 , but which was a little shorter: 323 instead of 359 cm. The A112 became the brand's most successful model and had a production period of 17 years. Carlo Abarth , founder of the racing car manufacturer of the same name in Turin, quickly recognized the qualities of the model and in 1971 presented a prototype with 107 hp. Because such a motorized version would have exceeded the price limits set by the product managers, Abarth initially had to be content with 58 hp (A112 58HP). But as early as 1975 (with the third series) Abarth , in whose Turin plant on Corso Marche the engines were built, was allowed to produce the A112 70HP with 70 hp.
At least outside of the domestic market, the A112 was the last Autobianchi model. Because after Fiat - the joint parent company of Autobianchi and Lancia - decided in 1975 to put the Autobianchi plant under the direction of Lancia, with the appearance of the fourth series in 1977 there was successive conversion to the Lancia brand in most export markets, in Germany from 1982 From the management's point of view, it was a logical decision as Lancia and Autobianchi served the same clientele. But because Lancia lacked a typical city or small car in the program, this deficiency could be compensated perfectly with the A112. In 1985 Lancia presented the Lancia Y10 as a successor to the A112 at the Geneva Motor Show . Due to the joint Lancia-Autobianchi dealer network in Italy, Lancia also used the Autobianchi logo and signet for the Y10. But with the end of the Y10 production in 1995 and the launch of the successor Lancia Y , Lancia also discontinued the Autobianchi brand in Italy.
|Timeline of Lancia and Autobianchi models since 1945|
|Type||Lancia, independent until 1969||Purchased by Fiat in 1969, Fiat number range since then|
|Autobianchi, JV between Bianchi, Fiat and Pirelli||from 1967 100% part of the Fiat group||abroad as Lancia, in Italy as Autobianchi|
|Small car||A112||Y10 (156)||Y (840)||Ypsilon (843)||Ypsilon (846)|
|Compact class||A111||Delta I  (831)||Delta II (836)||Delta III (844)|
|Middle class||Primula||Prism (831)||Dedra (835)||Lybra (839)|
|... Ardea||Appia||Fulvia||Beta / Trevi (828)||Flavia|
|upper middle class||Flavia||2000||Gamma (830)||Theme (834 / Y9)||Kappa (838)||Thesis (841)||theme|
|Coupé / convertible||Stellina|
|Fulvia Coupé / Sport||Beta Coupé  / Spider / Montecarlo (828)|
|Aurelia||Flaminia||Gamma Coupé / GT (830)||
|Van||Zeta (220)||Phedra (179)||Voyager|
 also built by Seat in Spain