Peugeot is the name of the French family who control the well known independent French motor manufacturer. Interestingly they started in business as ironmongers, manufacturing a range of products including sheet steel, tools, handsaws, umbrella frames and bicycles. They began car production in 1876 but it wasn't until 1889 that they produced their first vehicle, the steam powered Serpollet-Peugeot.
The Peugeot company have always been committed to innovation and cutting edge technological development. By 1890 they had developed the petrol powered Peugeot type 2 and within 3 years they were the first manufacturer to fit rubber tyres.
In 1897 they formed a new company at Audincourt to manufacture automobiles. Sales of motor vehicles were increasing and Peugeot introduced 5 new models to their range. Cars were becoming larger, with bigger, more powerful engines. In 1898 they introduced the 3.3 litre engine and in 1900 a 30bhp, 5.8 litre engine was produced. Around this time they introduced a steering wheel, in place of the tiller based steering mechanism, along with electric ignition.
Between the wars Peugeot were responsible for a number of innovative developments in their vehicles. These included the introduction of a 6 litre, dual carburettor vehicle and a small, 1.4 litre, 10bhp automobile. The famous 668cc Quadrilette was launched around this time and Peugeot expanded production by acquiring factories in various parts of France.
Subsequent to the Second World War Peugeot were quick to get back into production. Over 14000 Peugeot 202 vehicles were sold in 1946 and they quickly introduced the Peugeot 203, featuring technological innovations that included hydraulic brakes and rack and pinion steering. They continued to expand by taking over various companies and introduced the popular Peugeot 403 in 1955. By 1962 over 1 million of these popular cars had been produced. In 1960 the Peugeot 404 was introduced. The Peugeot 404, with its 1618cc engine, was rugged enough to successfully undertake the gruelling East African Safari Rally. Two million of these vehicles were produced between 1960 and 1972.
In 1968 Peugeot introduced its new top of the range model, the 504, at the Paris Show. By this time they had become the second largest automobile manufacturer in France manufacturing over 500,000 vehicles a year by 1970.
The 1970's saw Peugeot continuing in their technologically innovative traditions. In 1972 they introduced the Peugeot 104, a small, mass market car. In 1974 they took over management of Citroen and in 1976 they became the principle shareholder of Citroen. In 1975 they introduced the top of the range Peugeot 604 saloon and in 1977 they introduced the 305. In 1979 Peugeot were the first company to offer a turbo diesel engine.
The 1980s brought the immensely popular Peugeot 205. This is the car that is reputed to have been the turning point in Peugeot's fortunes. Stylistically the 205 was to influence every Peugeot model that was to follow. The 205 GTi versions were available with either 1.6 litre or 1.9 litre engines and these cars are widely regarded as classic sports hatch backs of the time.
Throughout the 1980's Peugeot enjoyed a lot of successes at rallies and in endurance trials in which the 205 triumphed. In 1987 they unveiled 10 new versions of their stylish 405 saloon and in January 1988 they won the Paris-Dakar rally using a 405 T-16. This replaced the immensely successful 205 T-16 which had been used in many of the previous 1980's rallies. In 1989 they introduced the Peugeot 605 at the Frankfurt motor show.
The Peugeot 405 was not very competitive with models from Japan and the company suffered as a result. In 1993 the 205 was 10 years old and Peugeot introduced the 306, destined to become the third best selling car in France. This was followed by the introduction of the 806 MPV which with its high build quality, superseded the 405 in 1996.
The Peugeot Lion, the emblem of the Peugeot make, is derived from the coat of arms of Franche-Comte which is the birthplace of the Peugeot family. The first trademark symbols were designed by a jeweller and engraver in the 1840's. A variety of trademark designs have been used for various products including Peugeot bicycles and automobiles. All have featured the now famous Peugeot Lion.
Van leasing and contract hire available on all commercial vehicles including Peugeot vans.