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Peugeot

Peugeot

France France (1882 - present)
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History

The Peugeot family

The Peugeot family

© photo courtesy of: Peugeot

The earliest Peugeot factory was opened in Sochaux, near Montbéliard, France, where the Peugeot family was from. Armand Peugeot was the family member that was most attracted to the automotive industry and went on for more than a dozen years to convince his family that producing cars would bring money and success.

The first motor vehicle produced at the Peugeot plant was a three-wheeled car that moved through steam power, produced in 1889. It had been conceived by Léon Serpollet and only four units were built.

The steam-powered car was quickly replaced in 1890 by the conventionally four-wheeled and petrol-engined one, with a PanhardPanhardPanhardFrance, 1887 > 19688 models
1 photo
internal combustion engine. From 1896 onwards, the company began building their own Peugeot engines, no longer having to depend on the German automaker DaimlerDaimlerDaimlerGermany, 1889 > present12 models
77 photos
1 video
’s engines that previously powered Peugeot vehicles. In that year, Armand Peugeot established his own automobile-only company, which was dubbed Société Anonyme des Automobiles Peugeot.

In 1899, the company reached the 300-barrier of cars build and sold in a year, although these earlier cars seemed more like engine-driven, horseless carriages. However, large developments and improvements, both mechanic and aesthetic, came with the years. In fact, Peugeot quickly assumed a leading position in the market, as half of all cars that were built in French soil by 1903 were Peugeots.

Peugeot’s factory switched car production for military vehicles and arms production during the period of the first World War, building tanks, shells and bicycles. As soon as the War was over, Peugeot resumed the car manufacturing and even increased production along the 1920’s.

In 1927, the automaker acquired two other French companies that hadn’t been running already, Bellanger and DeDionDe Dion BoutonDe Dion BoutonFrance, 1882 > 19317 models
16 photos
.

Similarly to what had happened during the first World War, Peugeot suspended car production during the second one, but carried it on after the conflict was pacified. By this time, at the middle of the 20th century, the very famous Italian coachbuilder PininfarinaPininfarinaPininfarinaItaly, 1930 > present16 models
104 photos
1 video
was stylising many of the Peugeot models.

Peugeot also collaborated with RenaultRenaultRenaultFrance, 1898 > present186 models
6013 photos
17 videos
from 1966 and with VolvoVolvoVolvoSweden, 1927 > present49 models
4464 photos
6 videos
from 1972, following a cooperation trend that was set amongst European automakers.

Peugeot 205 GTi

Peugeot 205 GTi

© photo courtesy of: Peugeot

In 1974, the company acquired a 30% share at another French car builder, CitroënCitroënCitroënFrance, 1919 > present99 models
5338 photos
11 videos
, and by the following year it was completely absorbed by Peugeot. Citroën had exceeded their own available budget at developing ground-breaking vehicles and was heading down to bankruptcy until Peugeot bought it with the help of governmental funding. The merging of the two car companies resulted on the current PSA (Peugeot Société Anonyme). PSA Peugeot Citröen keeps the two brands’ independent identities and models, while sharing their technologic and mechanic assets and knowledge.

In 1978, as the American car company ChryslerChryslerChryslerUnited States of America, 1925 > present70 models
873 photos
1 video
was experiencing some severe financial difficulties, Peugeot took the control of it. However, the PSA company also went through some significant money losses in the first half of the 1980’s decade, which are considered to have been “saved” by the successful release of the Peugeot 205205Peugeot 205France, 1983 > 199719 versions
13 photos
in 1983.

Nevertheless, the company’s dramatic sales drop and very low popularity in North America compelled it to close its 33-year-old Peugeot activities in the United States and Canada, no longer having returned to those markets.

 



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Logo

Peugeot requested the jeweller and engraver Justin Blazer to conceive the brand’s logo. The heraldic lion that Blazer designed in 1847 was inspired by the emblem that represented the Montbéliard, the town where he and the Peugeot family were based. Alongside the figure of the lion, Blazer also created the letters that spell “Peugeot” that are still used nowadays.

The lion figure was initially used to symbolise the company on their many steel-made gadgets, before Peugeot was producing cars.

Along the years, the lion logo went through a considerable amount of revises and was redesigned several times, having assumed different shapes, like the shield with a lion’s head. In time, however, it returned to its original shape, resembling the (entire) lion that can be seen in the flag of the Franche-Comte – the region which Montebéliard is a part of.

The last improvement that was made to Peugeot’s lion logo was in 1998.



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Motorsport

Peugeot 205 T16

Peugeot 205 T16

© photo by cmonville, licence: Attribution

Since its inception, Peugeot began participating in motor sports, being one of the first brands ever to enter racing and rallying events.

In 1894, five Peugeot cars entered the Paris-Rouen Rally in France and three of them finished in second (driven by Lemaitre), third and fifth places. Three Peugeot cars also entered the 1895 Paris-Bordeux race.
In 1899, French driver Lamaitre also drove a special Peugeot with 5.850 cc engine displacement and 20 hp, only to win the Nice-Castellane-Nice Rally.

When Peugeot couldn’t do better than a nineteenth place at the 1902 Paris-Vienna Rally with its 11.322 cc 50 hp race car, besides not even managing to finish with other two similar cars, the French company decided on withdrawing from rally racing. However, until the first World War took place, Peugeot remained involved in several other motor sport events.

Georges Boillot drove to victory one of the participant Peugeot cars at the 1912 French Grand Prix in Dieppe, France. Then, in 1913, Jules Goux drove a Peugeot to victory at the Indianapolis and Boillot drove another one at the French Grand Prix once again, finishing first once more. Driver Boillot and Peugeot became the first Grand Prix double winners.

In 1915, Peugeot won another French GP and also the Vanderbilt Cup. At the 1919 Targa Florio, Georges Boillot finished first once more with a 2.5-liter racer.

Boillot also drove Peugeot cars at the 1925 Targa Florio (third place), at the 1922 and 1925 Coppa Florios (first place in both), at the 1923 and 1925 Touring Car Grand Prix (first place in both) and at the 1926 Spa 24 Hours (first place).

Peugeot 908

Peugeot 908

© photo courtesy of: Peugeot

In the rally world, Peugeot was mostly successful with the 504504Peugeot 504France, 1968 > 200416 versions
8 photos
model, the turbocharged and four-wheel driven version of the 205205 T16 Group BPeugeot 205 T16 Group BFrance, 1984 > present2 photos
and ultimately the 206206Peugeot 206France, 1998 > present29 versions
43 photos
1 video
model.

In the World Rally Championship, the French automaker and its Peugeot 205 T16 won the Manufacturers’ title for the 1985 and 1986 seasons. The Peugeot 206 won that title again for the brand every year from 2000 to 2002. The automaker also brought home the titles of the Paris-Dakar Rally every year from 1987 to 1990.

The Peugeot 905905 Evo 1 BisPeugeot 905 Evo 1 BisFrance, 1992 > present1 photo
gave the brand the winning titles for the 1992 and 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans races, plus the team and drivers’ titles of the 1992 World Sports Car Championship. In such championship the 905 also led 8 out of 14 races during the 1991 and 1992 seasons.

In 2007, Peugeot was back to sports car racing with the diesel-engined 908908 HDi FAPPeugeot 908 HDi FAPFrance, 2007 > present15 photos
model at the Le Mans, where a pole position was held by driver Stephane Sarrazin. For the 2008 season of Le Mans, the Peugeot 908 cars held second, third and fifth places. Although one of the three competing 908s was the race’s fastest car, it underwent some technical problems that made it lose some time.

Peugeot has entered the Formula 1 as an engine supplier for several teams, such as McLarenMcLarenMcLarenUnited Kingdom, 1963 > present89 models
1872 photos
12 videos
(1994), Jordan (from 1995 to 1997) and ProstProstProstFrance, 1997 > 20023 models
6 photos
(from 1998 to 2000).



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