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The Fiat Automobile Company
Poughkeepsie, NY

In 1909, the Fiat Automobile Company of Turin, Italy sought to increase its share of the American Automobile market. Fiat did this by establishing a branch factory at Poughkeepsie, New York in 1909.

Fiat furnished engineering staff, working drawings, and some of the materials and parts.

Albert E. Schaaf was hired as manager of the Poughkeepsie, New York factory. The Fiat Automobile Company produced some automobiles in Poughkeepsie and other were imported from Italy. The Fiat Automobiles made in Poughkeepsie and Turin were identical. However, the Poughkeepsie produced Fiat's made it possible to eliminate payment of a 45% duty imposed on all imported autos and this savings was passed on to the consumer. Other European automobile manufacturers such as Rolls-Royce and Mercedes established American factories to make their automobiles more price competitive with U.S. models.

The Poughkeepsie, NY factory was located on 30 acres of land situated directly on the State Boulevard, which runs from New York to Albany.

1911 Poughkeepsie New York Fiat Magazine Ad
1911 Poughkeepsie New York Fiat Magazine Ad

Founded in 1899 "FIAT" is an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino or Italian Automobile Factory of Turin. Owning any Fiat in the United States was a sign of distinction. A Fiat sold in the U.S. cost between $4,500.00 and $5,500, compared to the Ford Model T at 825.00 1909. Upon the entry of the United Sates into World War I in 1917, the factory was shut down.

1908 Fiat Pre-Poughkeepsie New York Magazine Ad
1908 Fiat Pre-Poughkeepsie New York Magazine Ad

The above 1908 Pre-Poughkeepsie, NY magazine ad indicate the price of 5 popular Fiat automobile's found in the United States. The prices were for the Fiat and included duties, freight and packing charges.  Prices range from $3500.00 for a small 15 horsepower shaft drive automobile to $7500.00 for a large 60 horsepower chain drive automobile.

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