Industrial Origins

Peugeot's Industrial Origins

 

Industrial Origins

Peugeot's industrial adventure was born in 1810 in a steel foundry set up in a converted flour mill. The factory produced manufactured objects, saws and watch and clock mechanisms. Success and prosperity were not long in arriving, thanks to the quality of the products, which were already being exported. This quality came to be symbolised in the emblem of the lion.

Peugeot then diversified in multiple directions. Production covered a huge number of tools and products, representing all the manual jobs of the century. In 1840, the company ventured from the workshop into the kitchen, with the first coffee mill. This was made until 1975, becoming electric at the start of the 1930s. A pepper mill followed in its wake. With its patented milling system, it was practically impossible to wear out, and is still produced today, having been sold in its millions all around the world.

In the middle of the 19th Century, new factories sprang up at Valentigney and Beaulieu, which were later to produce cars. A pioneer of the automobile, Armand Peugeot knew that the future of the car lay in the petrol engine. After a short excursion in 1889 into steam tricycles built with Serpollet, he wished to take advantage of the Daimler engine, and struck an agreement with Gottlieb Daimler and the company Panhard et Levassor   (which held Daimler's manufacturing licence for France). From 1891 the first series of Peugeot Type 3 quadricycles, powered by petrol, was produced.

The first utility vehicle, the Type 13, was brought out in 1895. The first engine designed and manufactured by Peugeot appeared the following year. The first factory located outside Franche-Comté was opened at Fives-Lille in 1897.

Success continued, and before the First World War, Peugeot constructed 10,000 cars, which comprised half of French production.

In 1925, the 100,000th Peugeot left the factory. In 1929 the production means were concentrated at the Sochaux site, which had been inaugurated in 1912. The success of the 201 allowed the company to come through the depression of the 1930s relatively unscathed.

Following the Second Word War, a single model policy was implemented, with the 203. This came to an end in 1965, with the launch of the 204.

By the dawn of the 1970s, Peugeot had become the second largest French manufacturer, having produced 500,000 cars. It signed an agreement with Renault in 1966. One of the fruits of this agreement was the 1971 construction of an engine with the participation of Volvo, an engine which later became the V6 PRV. This partnership, which followed the inauguration with Renault of a joint factory at Douvrin, was followed by many others: with Fiat in 1981 for the production of utility vehicles and people carriers, then with Ford in 1998 for the development of diesel engines, with Toyota in 2001 for small engined models and with BMW the following year for petrol engines.

Taking control of Citroën in 1976 led to the creation of  PSA Peugeot-Citroën. Increasingly hungry for growth, two years later the lion bought the three European subsidiaries of Chrysler. At the same time PSA acquired the industrial sites of Poissy, Ryton in Britain and Villaverde in Spain. But digesting these repeated acquisitions over such a short time was to prove a little too much. The attempt to breathe some life into the Talbot brand by incorporating into it the ex-subsidiaries of Chrysler ended in failure.

Peugeot's international growth was marked by its arrival in China in 1985, which was a vital necessity in the context of globalisation, whilst the 2001 inauguration of the factory at Porto Real, Brazil, which followed the opening of a site in Argentina, has strengthened the presence of the lion brand in the Southern Common Market.