History of Peugeot

Peugeot imageThe “Peugeot Frères” company was founded in 1810. This is when the Peugeot family bought a cereal mill at Sous Cratet and capitalised on the Industrial Revolution by converting it into a steel factory.

This factory began producing sheet steel and various tools but it was handsaws which inspired the famous emblem of the company. From the 1850s the lion emblem was stamped onto Peugeot made products to symbolise the strength and flexibility of the steel. In the early days the Peugeot brothers ensured the success of the company through their ingenuity and creativity. They quickly identified ‘gaps in the market’ for a range of products from crinoline stays for the voluminous skirts worn at the time to pepper mills and coffee grinders.

In 1869 the company identified the new trends in vehicle design and began producing horse drawn carriages for the army. Throughout the latter decades of the nineteenth century, Peugeot were identifying the latest trends in vehicle development and developing forms of transport such as horse drawn carriages for the army and bicycle. As the popularity of two wheeled transport grew, Peugeot began working on plans for a very new type of venture.

In 1889 there were 1100 people employed in Peugeot factories and Armand Peugeot exhibited the steam powered “Serpollet-Peugeot” at the Paris show. This was the first car to bear the name Peugeot.

By 1890, Armand had developed the petrol powered “Peugeot Type 2”, thus demonstrating the company’s early commitment to innovation and ‘cutting edge’ development. Indeed, just three years after the very first car was built, Peugeot was the first car manufacturer to fit rubber tyres (1892) to it’s motor vehicles. In 1897 the Peugeot ‘range’ featured five new models including a two seater and a ‘vis-à-vis’.

Sales of Peugeot’s motor vehicles were increasing; by 1900 production had reached 500 vehicles per year. To cater for the rapidly increasing demand, a head office was set up in Levallois, Paris, in 1902 to cater for and administer the demand. Two decades later, in 1925, the 100,000th Peugeot car came off the production line.

The success of the Peugeot marque has continued to grow year after year and the company has continuously demonstrated its commitment to style and innovation, offering its customers the very latest technologies. This commitment can be seen in a great number of ‘Peugeot World firsts’ throughout the years. Peugeot’s sporting success in the ACF Grand Prix of 1912 heralded the first car in the world with four camshafts and four valves per cylinder

In 1934, Peugeot showcased the World’s first coupe cabriolet with and electrically retractable ‘hard top’ roof (a system still popular today on the 206CC and 307CC. Just a year later, the 402 was far ahead of its rivals in as the first car to feature an aerodynamically styled body as a pre-requisite feature.

In 1955, Peugeot unveiled the 403 which heralded the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship with the Turin-based Italian designer, Pininfarina. The 403 was the first Peugeot to have a convex wind-screen and the first model to reach the million mark in terms of production. Continuing the theme of innovation, in 1979, Peugeot was the first company to offer a turbocharged diesel engine, on the 604.

You can find more information and timeline dates at clubpeugeotuk.org

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