Iveco, an acronym for Industrial Vehicles Corporation, is an Italian industrial vehicle manufacturing company based in Turin, Italy, and entirely controlled by CNH Industrial Group. It designs and builds light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, quarry/construction site vehicles, city and intercity buses and special vehicles for applications such as firefighting, off-road missions, the military and civil defence.
The name IVECO first appeared in 1975 after a merger of Italian, French and German brands.
Its production plants are in Europe, Brazil, Russia, Australia, Africa, Argentina and China, and it has approximately 5,000 sales and assistance points in over 160 countries. The worldwide output of the company amounts to around 150,000 commercial vehicles with a turnover of about €10 billion
Iveco was incorporated on 1 January 1975, with the merger of five different brands: Fiat Veicoli Industriali (with headquarters in Turin, Italy), OM (Brescia, Italy), Lancia Veicoli Speciali (Italy), Unic (France) and Magirus-Deutz (Germany).
Following the merger, the newly founded Iveco began rationalizing its product range, manufacturing plants and sales network, while keeping the original brands. From 1975 to 1979, the Iveco range included 200 basic models and 600 versions spanning from 2.7 tons of GVW for a light vehicle to over 40 tons for heavy vehicles, as well as buses and engines. In 1977 the light to medium-weight Iveco Zeta range was introduced, replacing the twenty-year-old OM Lupetto. Integrating the Fiat-OM range with the Unic and Magirus lineups was completed by 1980. Iveco moved in to work on increasing productivity and engine development.
In 1978 Iveco launched the first product in the range of light vehicles branded Iveco, the Daily. The product was originally conceived as a small industrial vehicle, reliable and structurally sound.
In 1980 Iveco built the first turbo diesel engine for heavy industrial vehicles. In this decade the corporate strategy was heavily oriented towards brand promotion and led to the sponsorship of sports events, such as the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, the Davis Cup in 1982, the Jacques Cousteau expeditions in the Amazon basin in 1983 and the Raid Pigafetta, during which the Iveco-Fiat 75 PC 4×4 was first to make a full circle of the globe. Two new divisions were also formed: bus diesel engines and firefighting vehicles.
In 1984 Iveco launched the TurboStar, a heavy on-road vehicle that became a best-seller in Italy and an important player in the European market, selling a total of 50,000 in seven years.
In 1985 Iveco made the first light diesel engine with direct injection.
From 1986, Iveco S.p.A. held a 52% stake in Iveco Ford Truck Ltd, a joint venture (and effectively a merger) with Ford of Europe’s truck division. Ford plants took over production and sales of the major vehicles in the Iveco range and continued production of the Ford Cargo.
In the mid-1980s, Astra, which produces dumpers and construction site/quarry vehicles in Piacenza, became part of Iveco Group.
In 1989 the first diesel engine with EGR to reduce polluting emissions compatible with commercial vehicles was produced and the new Daily launched that same year was fitted with it.
In 1990, the group purchased 60% control of the Spanish industrial company ENASA, which owned the industrial vehicle builder Pegaso.
In the 1990s, the EuroCargo, EuroTech, EuroTrakker and EuroStar vehicles represented a total facelift for the range. The EuroCargo and the EuroTech were named “Truck of the Year” in 1992 and 1993 respectively and, for the first time, this recognition was awarded to the same manufacturer for two years in a row.
In 1991, the English company Seddon Atkinson was purchased and brought its long heritage of special vehicles for the construction and refuse collection industries.