Where does that fit into the historical context? We'll never know, since you can't really compare. But if we played with the numbers, according to Automania, Fiat built 3,893,294 of the original 500 (and variants) from its inception in 1957 to the last model being sent off in 1975. If we average the output over time, and assume an even 18-year production run, the total production divided by 216 months is about 18,025 cars per month, which would make for 1,243,725 cars in 69 months.
On the other hand, the first two generations of the early 500 didn't equate to a million units in eight years, so congratulations Fiat. There's a brief press release below with a few more details on the achievement.
19/04/13 -- The one millionth Fiat 500 produced in Poland has rolled off the Fiat Auto Poland production line at the Tychy factory today (19 April). This iconic model, launched in 2007, is marketed in 83 countries around the world including Italy, UK, Brazil, South Africa, Poland, US and Japan. In addition to Poland, since 2011 the Fiat 500 has also been produced at the Mexican factory in Toluca, thus bringing total production to 1,100,000 units.
Destined for the Italian market, the record-breaking example is a powerful white 135 HP Abarth 500 1.4 which, like all those produced so far, represents an 'almost unique' piece, thanks to the thousands of possible combinations of versions, colours, trims, engines, fuel systems and equipment. Of the more than one million units produced it is difficult to find two identical Fiat 500s.
To confirm the wide range of customisations, the number '999,999' Fiat 500 produced by the Polish factory is a 95 HP S version 1.3 MultiJet, in red, for an Italian customer, while number '1,000,001' is a light blue Fiat 500C, Lounge trim level, equipped with the 69 HP 1.2. It will be delivered to a German customer in the next few days.
Tychy's prestigious milestone, achieved in just five years and nine months from launch, marks another page in the story of Fiat 500, an all-Italian invention that has won over the public and international critics, as demonstrated by more than 40 international awards and 325,000 fans on the official Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/fiat500.
A true icon of Italian style, the Fiat 500 was recently revamped with the 2013 range, introducing new body colours, new versions such as Colour Therapy, and other style details which enhance the fun-loving spirit of the car. The Fiat 500 currently offers many trim levels – Pop, Colour Therapy, Lounge, S – and engine versions, including 1.2, 0.9 TwinAir, 1.4 16V, and 1.3 MultiJet 16V.