The Peugeot as we know was established in 1810, Jean-Pierre II and Jean-Frédéric founded Peugeot Frères. They transformed their father’s grain mill company into a steel foundry and during its first 80 years, it produced a wide range of steel products, making everything from coffee grinders and springs to saws and umbrella frames.
However, it was not until 1889 when Armand Peugeot, son of Jean-Pierre II, led the company in its quest to produce its first motorised vehicle; the Serpollet-Peugeot.
The Serpollet-Peugeot is a steam powered tricycle. A year later, Armand abandoned steam in favour of petrol, and built Peugeot’s first four-wheeled, petrol-driven vehicle – the Type 2 quadricycle with a Daimler engine.
In 1903, Peugeot added motorcycles to its range of products and have been producing motorbikes ever since.
The Peugeot 201 set a landmark for the company, being the first car to use the Peugeot trademark – 3 digits with a 0 in the middle, and the first mass produced car; which moved Peugeot from being a small scale business to mass produce car manufacturers. The 201’s success lead the company to launch the 301, 401 and 601 product line.
In 1962, with the launch of the 404 Cabriolet, styled by Pininfarina, it set a new scene for Peugeot design, and the car remains as one of Peugeot’s all time favourite amongst collectors.
In 1974, Citroën suffered financial troubles as it developed too many radical new cars with money they didn’t have. Peugeot first invested in 30% of shares in Citroën, but ultimately took over the company completely in 1975.
The joint company became the PSA (Peugeot Société Anonyme) group. Its purpose is to maintain separate identities for both brands, whilst sharing engineering and technical resources. The group also took over of Chrysler’s European division.
In 1983, Peugeot launched an iconic supermini, the 205. The 205 marked the start of Peugeot’s success in the small car market and have been largely credited for turning the company’s fortune around.
The 205 range soon became the company’s best selling products with over 5 million produced in its time. The Peugeot 206 was spawned out in 1998, which topped the record further with 6.5 million units built. Its successor 207 also achieved the most sold car in Europe. The 208, 207’s replacement has been rolled out since summer 2012 and no doubt it will follow the path of its predecessors and set a new standard for Peugeot in the auto industry.
2010 marked the bicentenary of the Peugeot group. The brand celebrated by redesigning the Peugeot lion to provide a new sense of movement and with several futuristic launches. Most notably the top of the range RCZ coupe, the EX1 electric concept car and the iOn, a 100% electric powered car. Peugeot’s future plans are to pursuit for a new markets in developing countries such as China, South America and Indian, as the automotive market is rapidly increasing amongst these places.