Experience the Passion: Immerse Yourself of Incredible History of Peugeot
1815 – 1900 From the mountains to the car Peugeot’s
However, its industrial adventure began at the beginning of the century, between 1815 and 1820, when Jean-Pierre Peugeot and his sons joined forces with Jacques Maillard-Salins, member of prestigious family watchmakers, to create a small company dedicated to working with steel. From there, they market their first items, such as saws and watches.
The economic ups and downs make the Peugeot industry intersperse periods of independence with others. It needs capitalist partners; however, there is always a family saga at the helm of the business. As early as 1886, Armand Peugeot tried his luck with the production of bicycles. Four years later, and with the help of Gottlieb Daimler, it launches the Type 3, a four-seater car with inward-facing seats that reaches 18 km / h.
The company is in the hands of Armand and his cousin Eugéne Peugeot, although the partnership finally broke up in 1896 due to the latter’s distrust of the automotive world. Armand founds the Societá des Automóbiles Peugeot and agrees not to manufacture tools or sewing machines to not compete with his cousin, who in turn is out of the car business.
1901 – 1910 Peugeot Automobile and Bicycle Society.
The BeBe became the star of the 1904 Paris Motor Show. The compact vehicle (2.70 meters) is equipped with a single-cylinder engine that reaches 40 km / h, and, although it is manufactured in Audincourt, it is primarily exported to Gran Brittany. Its 400 units represented 80% of Peugeot’s total production in 1905.
On the other hand, in that year, the current “non-aggression” pact was broken since Eugéne’s children launched their car brand, Lion-Peugeot. This caused a confrontation between the two companies that ended in 1910 by creating a new entity, the Peugeot Automobile and Bicycle Society. In this decade, the history of the French manufacturer also begins in Spain.
The Sociedad Anónima Española de Automobiles Peugeot acts as importer of the brand, and its main dealer, Taibesa (Talleres Auto Ibónicos SA), is located in Madrid’s Avenida de los Toreros.
Meanwhile, the northern part of Spain is assisted by the Torregrosa concessionaire, and the south by the Tomás Guillén concessionaire.
1911 – 1920 The second BeBe León.
The year 1912 marks an important milestone in the history of the lion for two reasons. On the one hand, the start-up of the Sochaux factory; on the other, the presentation at the International Motor Show in Paris of the second generation of the BeBe León. Designed by Bugatti and powered by an 855 cc engine, the new model weighs just 350 kilos and reaches 66 km / h.
In addition, it is the last car on this stage that shows the lion in the front. Its successors will be content to carry a spelling with the brand’s name in the interior of an oval space at the top of the grill. Before the First World War outbreak, Peugeot was already an industrial benchmark: it had four factories (Audincourt, Lille, Beaulieu, and Valentigney) and had manufactured more than 10,000 vehicles, half of the French production.
Things change after the conflict: Driven by debt, the Group separates its car and bicycle divisions. The first looks for a way out of the crisis in a small and inexpensive car: the Quadrilette was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1920 with great success. He is the heir to the essence of the BeBe but adapted to the needs of the postwar period; it has a moderate consumption (5 litres / 100 km) and a high top speed (more than 60 km / h).
Thanks to him, Peugeot became the first French manufacturer to enter the “popular car” market. He is the heir to the essence of the BeBe but adapted to the needs of the postwar period; it has a moderate consumption (5 litres / 100 km) and a high top speed (more than 60 km / h). Thanks to him, Peugeot became the first French manufacturer to enter the “popular car” market.
He is the heir to the essence of the BeBe but adapted to the needs of the postwar period; it has a moderate consumption (5 litres / 100 km) and a high top speed (more than 60 km / h). Thanks to him, Peugeot became the first French manufacturer to enter the “popular car” market.
1921 – 1930 The Peugeot 201 arrives.
In the following years, the presentations of models follow one another: Sport Type of 10 and 18 CV (1922 and 1923), Type 172 BC (1924), Type 177 M (1926), Type 183 (1927), and Type 190 S (1928), among others. There was an unprecedented collaboration to date: The mechanics of the 177 model were manufactured under license in Germany by the Audi brand.
The Peugeot 201 deserves a separate mention. If the Quadrilette is the car created to emerge from the post-war crisis, it has the same mission in the face of the depression of 29.
Robust and reasonably priced, it does not take long to attract the approval of the public. It is also the first car to be baptized with a series of three numbers, a tradition that will continue to this day.
1931 – 1940 The saga of the three digits.
The Peugeot 201 was followed during the 30s by a new batch of cars with three numbers and always a zero in the centre. The first to arrive in the 301 (1932), a model derived from the 201, although longer and with an engine that reaches 90 km / h.
Two years later, the 601, with which the brand recovers the 6-cylinder engines, and the 401, located in an intermediate segment between the previous two and has up to eleven body variants, come to light. In the middle of the decade, the manufacturer bets on a change in style.
At the 1935 Paris Motor Show, it exhibits one of the most iconic models, the 402. It replaces the 601 as the highest-end vehicle and has a design inspired by the Chrysler Airflow introduced in 1934 and started aerodynamics.
1941 – 1950 The brand survives World War II.
Peugeot guarantees its survival after World War II with the launch of the elegant 203. Its presentation at the Paris Motor Show (1947) is a great success, so when it hits the market one year later, the requests are not long in coming.
The brand’s first monocoque vehicle incorporates the latest technological advances, such as the four-cylinder engine, the “V” shaped cylinder head, and a four-speed transmission.
1951 – 1960 The Lion Returns.
The only Peugeot model available on the market until 1955 is the 203. An exclusivity was lost with the arrival of the 403. Pininfarina is designed for its classic style and robust mechanics around 135 km / h top speed.
However, the 203 goes down in history during this decade for three reasons: it is the first Peugeot to exceed one million units; makes the Group the first French manufacturer to launch a high-volume diesel saloon; and recovers, after many years forgotten, the figure of the lion on the front of the hood.
1961 – 1970 The successful Peugeot 204.
404 marks the beginning of this decade. It incorporates a 1.6-litre, 72-horsepower engine. A year later, the 204 arrives, which becomes the most representative model of this time. It is a pioneer in many ways, but above all, for being the first with front-wheel drive. Thanks to the work of Pininfarina, its 3.97-meter body offers more space than its predecessors.
In addition, it is also one of the first to experience the benefits of a four-wheel suspension system and front brake discs. Peugeot SA was born on this exact date, a company created to control all the group companies.
In 1966 the 204 families grew with two new additions, the convertible and the coupe. A year later, the diesel version arrives despite being somewhat more expensive than competing cars.
1971 – 1980 PSA Peugeot-Citroën.
At the dawn of the 1970s and after exceeding 500,000 cars, Peugeot became the second-largest French manufacturer. It is time to grow as a company, which happened in 1971: thanks to the agreement signed five years earlier, the French brand and Renault launched an engine in which Volvo also participated.
However, the most critical move culminated in 1976 with the takeover of Citroën. Thus was born PSA Peugeot-Citroën, a group hungry for growth that two years later bought most of Chrysler’s European subsidiaries and acquired the industrial plants of Poissy (France), Ryton (Great Britain), and Villaverde (Spain). The ambition of the new Group makes it try to revive the mythical Talbot brand, although this endeavour ultimately fails. Despite the frenzy of business activity,
1981 – 1990 The 205 boom.
Overwhelmed by financial debts incurred after the purchase of Chrysler’s subsidiaries, the automobile group found the solution to its problems in 205, a “Magic Number” that became the top seller of the decade and one of the most representative vehicles in its history.
It hit the market in 1983 as a compact, agile, and technologically advanced model; its exterior design was signed by Gérard Welter and the interior by Paul Bracq and offered in various versions that affect trim levels, engines, and gearboxes.
After two years, Peugeot sells more than a million units of the small 205. Shortly afterwards, it presents the GTI version (1984) and one of the races (Turbo 16), which was victorious in the 1987 and 1988 editions of the Paris Dakar Rally.
The 205 is a success that its production will continue for 15 years (final sales will exceed 5.3 million units).
1991 – 2000 Number 6 joins the 300 Series.
The decade of the 90s was the one chosen by Peugeot to incorporate the number 6 into the 300 Series. In this way, such successful models as the 106, 306, and 406 would see the light of day.
The Peugeot 306 was a fundamental pillar for the French brand since it came to be a very competitive model within the compact segment, composed by the Volkswagen Golf, Renault 19, or Ford Escort, among others.
In 1999 the replacement would arrive, the Peugeot 206, a model that would replace the successful 205. This utility, marketed until 2012, stood out for its adjusted price and low-consumption diesel engines. Like its predecessor, it would be marketed with sports cut versions (GTI and RC). In addition, this model was the basis for Peugeot to return to the World Rally Championship.
2001 – 2012 A new stage in which ecology prevails.
Today, the Peugeot brand continues to innovate to limit the emission of CO2 emissions. In 2011, Peugeot launched the e-HDi micro-hybrid technology, mainly equipped with a state-of-the-art Stop & Start *. After the Peugeot 508, other models benefit from this new technology: the Peugeot 308, the Partner Tepee, Peugeot 3008, and the Peugeot 5008.
By 2012, 30% of Peugeot’s HDi models will be equipped with the e-HDi micro-hybrid technology. Peugeot has set an ambitious goal: to put one million e-HDi vehicles on the road by 2013. On its bicentennial, the Peugeot brand shows the future: at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, it presents the Peugeot EX1 concept car, 100% electric, which will break several world records for acceleration when starting from a standstill.
To celebrate its 200th anniversary, Peugeot also launched its high-end Peugeot RCZ coupe; and innovates by marketing its urban 100% electric: the Peugeot iOn. Peugeot strengthens its international position with the launch of the 408 in China and Latin America and with the Hoggar in Brazil.