Abstract: Globalization before "The Globalization Era": The Internationalization of the Italian Automobile Industry, 1946-1966

Chiara Casalino


This paper is intended for the Dissertations in Progress Sessions, and it presents the preliminary results of my dissertation project, focused on the internationalization of the Italian automobile industry—that is to say, because of the extremely concentrated structure of the Italian car industry, Fiat internationalization. Based on the documents now kept in the Fiat Historic Archives, the work starts with an introduction regarding the first decades of Fiat's history, and then it concentrates on Vittorio Valletta's era, the so-called Professor who was Fiat chairman for twenty years. The paper describes the sources I've exploited for my research and the topics that they are linked to, the steps that remain to be done, and the interpretation of the facts I propose. The presence of Fiat abroad will be studied not only in its quantitative dimension, but also from a qualitative point of view, with the aim of acknowledging that internationalization, seen as a strategy of growth, affects all the aspects of the producer's activity (the market, the production, the commercial organization, the corporate culture), and to test whether it can be seen as a case of globalization before "the globalization era."