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Autobianchi [ autoˈbi̯aŋki ] was an Italian automobile brand with headquarters in Milan and a factory in Desio , which existed from 1955 to 1995.

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 .

Autobianchi became famous in the 1960s with the Primula and the Giardiniera , a station wagon based on the Fiat Nuova 500 .

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
1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 2020s
5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0 1 2 3 4th 5 6th 7th 8th 9 0
Microcar Bianchina Giardiniera
Small car A112 Y10 (156) Y (840) Ypsilon (843) Ypsilon (846)
Compact class A111 Delta I [2] (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 [1] / Spider / Montecarlo (828)
Aurelia Flaminia Gamma Coupé / GT (830) Kappa Coupé
Sports car Stratos
Minivan Musa (350)
Van Zeta (220) Phedra (179) Voyager

[1] also built by Seat in Spain
[2] also sold as Saab Lancia 600 in Scandinavia

  • Distributed under the “Autobianchi” brand
  • In Italy under the “Autobianchi” brand, abroad as “Lancia”
  • Lancia models, developed together with PSA and also built by SEVEL as Peugeot, Citroën and Fiat
  • Lancia models, from the cooperation with Chrysler , sold as Lancia in Europe

  • Web links

    Commons : Autobianchi  - collection of images, videos and audio files