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Peugeot, French Car Manufacturers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Peugeot

Peugeot, French Car Manufacturers

Alan Chapman
December 17, 2013

While Peugeot is not a name most Australians know well, it is a popular car brand in the whole of Europe. The company has a long history dating back to the early 1800s when they manufactured bicycles and even coffee mills! However, in 1858 Emile Peugeot built the first car which was a tricycle powered by steam and was an unreliable form of transport! However, he didn't give up and in 1896 the company as we know it was formed by Armand Peugeot in Souchaux in France and even today there is not only a large manufacturing plant as well as a Peugeot museum.

Peugeot now manufacturers automobiles exclusively and they include cars, luxury cars as well as commercial vehicles and they employ almost 200,000 people. They have subsidiary companies that deal with Peugeot motorcycles, bicycles and Peugeot Sport.

In 1975 the company took over the rival French automobile company, Citroen. They were able to combine both engineering and technical resources for both car brands. They even were able to take over Chrysler's European division in 1978.

As with most car manufacturers, they have had good years and some quite bad and in 2008 the company only sold two million vehicles.

The company has also had a strong presence in international rallying with wins in the World Rally championship. Also during the mid-1990s they were a popular car in the touring car racing. Recently they have been racing in the series Stock Car Brasil where they won the championships in 2008, 2009 as well as 2011. They have also competed in the world famous 24 hours of Le Mans race successfully.

In Europe Peugeot vehicles are not only popular in France but throughout the continent and many people love their Peugeot cars and only replace them with newer Peugeots. Today the PSA Peugeot Citroen is the second largest manufacturer of cars in Europe but their vehicles are sold all over the world.

In 2013 Peugeot introduced the Peugeot 208R which is a hatchback which comes in various versions. This is a great car for people who are interested in a sporty high end vehicle but also this version is a micro hatchback being both small and light. The Peugeot 208 GTi has a 1.6 litre engine with 200 horsepower with a top speed of 143 mph! The 208 also comes in a hybrid FE version.

The Peugeot 308 is a new hatchback that is France's answer to the VW Golf. There have been millions invested in this car and it has turned out very nicely. It uses an efficient modular platform which has only been seen in Citroen's Picasso making the car lighter with a longer wheelbase, giving the car a more squat appearance.

For a more family orientated vehicle, the Peugeot 301 is a very nice sedan which also has a hatchback version. This is an economical car with sleek lines and a flat-bottom steering wheel and other features of the inside of the vehicle include great colour accents on the gear shifter and the door pull handle, giving it the feeling of a car in the luxury class.

For all things Peugeot in Melbourne, Australia check out Bayside European they love Peugeots and only Peugeots http://www.peugeot-baysideeuropean.com.au/bayside-european/

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