Fabryka Samochodow Osobowych, FSO
There are many European vehicles. Almost all countries in the region could boast of their own locally made and home grown car models. If France, Germany, Italy and Spain are known for their respective car brands, Poland will also never be left behind. With Fabryka Samochodow Osobowych, or also known as FSO, Polish technology in car manufacturing has been made renowned and is appreciated by the world.
The Polish words that stand for FSO when translated into English means 'factory of passenger cars'. Indeed, FSO as a company is a well-known producer of cars for general transport. As a car firm, FSO is based in Warsaw, Poland. The first facility of the company was put up in 1951 in the eastern Warsaw riverbank of Vistula. It was post World War and the global car industry was then striving to establish its own identity.
The First FSO model produced was the Warszawa, which was the first ever Polish built and designed car, following World War II. In 1957, FSO released its second car model called Syrena. The Syrena was different in the sense that it was made to be smaller, making it more popular then the original FSO car.
The Polish government was very supportive of FSO. In 1965, at the height of car industry mergers and collaborations, Poland entered into an agreement for cooperation between the local car company and Italy's Fiat. The deal made assembly of Fiat models possible in the country. That partnership also opened many doors for FSO, both as a company and as a car brand itself.
FSO in 1978 introduced the Polonez model. It was the first of its kind, a 5-door compact, which was also built by the updated machinery of the company. The Polonez became FSO's stepping stone towards exporting to other markets, like those in the region and in Asia. Thus, with this FSO effort, Poland was marked for the first time in the global car industry map.
After that, FSO collaborated with US-based General Motors to develop and manufacture the Opel Astra car model. Then came the deal with South Korea's Daewoo Motors, which acquired Fso eventually. Under Daewoo, FSO became more active in car development and assembly.
However, the name FSO was never to visible and used by Daewoo in relation to the partnership. All Daewoo used in FSO is the latter's facilities and technology. Thus, it would be safe to say that Daewoo used FSO to its own advantage, so the Korean carmaker's brand and technology would be boosted.
For the entire duration of its existence, FSO was credited for having solely and independently developed and made five distinct car models. These models are Warszawa, Syrena, Polomez, Zuk and Nysa van. FSO may never be active anymore, but is legacy and history will forever remain in the hearts and minds of the Polish people. For quite sometime and even up to now, FSO is still a great source of Poland's nationalistic pride. The FSO as a car brand and as a company will live forever.
Original Authors: Manny
Edit Update Authors: RPN
Updated On: 26/06/2007