Based in Turin, Italy, Fiat is one of the world's best-known manufacturers of cars. The Panda is one particular model of Fiat cars, and since its introduction in 1980, 6.5 million Pandas have been sold globally. Now in its third generation, the Panda has gone through many iterations over the years.
Designed as a modern day 'peasant' car, the first Panda went on sale in 1983. The basic, no-frills vehicle was cheap to maintain and easy to use, for that reason it went on to achieve both critical and commercial success. The car's first face lift arrived in 1986, and the car was given some significant mechanical improvements. A few years later the Panda's first special edition was released called the Elletra. the Elletra had batteries instead of rear seats, and a much more powerful, heavy-duty engine. The car was much weightier than the previous commercial model. Since then, the Panda has undergone various revisions and face lifts - hundreds of limited and special edition vehicles were designed and released. Some of the more extravagant special editions included the Fiat Panda Jolly, released in 2006 and was inspired by boat design, the Terramare 4 was an amphibian vehicle, meaning it could travel across water using inflatable flotation belts and a water jet propulsion off the rear axle, and the 'Luxury' which featured jewel-like designs, crystals, and an interior with precious metals used as appointments.
Fiat was established in 1899 by a group of Italian investors. Their original aim was to manufacture military vehicles, railway carriages, tractors and aircraft. According to the 2011 records, Fiat was the fourth largest car manufacturer in the world.