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Peugeot is one of the largest French car manufacturers; a part of PSA Peugeot Citroën. Its parent company - PSA Peugeot Citroën – is the largest producer of light commercial vehicles in Europe (18.8% of the market) and the leader in making autos with the lowest level of gas emissions (26.2% of the market; a level of emissions their cars exhaust is less than 130 g/km).
At the Origins of the Company
Peugeot didn’t become a car manufacturer or at least a bicycle making company at once. Everything began when Jean-Pierre and Jean-Frédéric Peugeot converted a grain mill into a steel department in 1810. There, they began making steel structures for crinoline dresses, wire wheels, umbrella frames, clock mechanisms, irons, sewing machines, etc. Few people know that Peugeot gained popularity and respect due to manufacturing pepper, salt, and coffee grinders. They had a lifetime guarantee and were produced up to 1970s. These products were already made under the outstanding and well-known lion emblem.
It was Armand Peugeot (Jean-Pierre’s son) who developed the family business into vehicles production. In cooperation with Gottlieb Daimler, he constructed the Serpollet-Peugeot or the Type 1, a three-wheel steam vehicle, in 1889. Just in a year, a more powerful car was already created: a four-wheel petrol-running equipped with an engine by Daimler Type 2. Interestingly, the first car ever stolen was Peugeot.
In the 1900s, the Peugeot company was aimed to build a simple and cheap but reliable car, adjusted to urban conditions. With this in mind, they invited a talented engineer and designer Ettore Bugatti. In 1905, the company launched the Peugeot Bébé , the first light, compact, one-cylinder passenger car at a reasonable price.
By 1913, every second car in France was Peugeot. During the WWI, the car manufacturer switched to military equipment production as all other plants in the country did.
Launching the 402 model in 1935 was a pivotal moment for Peugeot. This prominent “Sochaux streamline” was characterized by aerodynamic forms and a radiator grill for headlights protection. In a year, the 302 model – the new dawn for the automobile industry – rolled out. This car marked the end of the era of luxurious, custom-made autos. Since then, a car has become really consumer goods.
After the WWII
When the WWII was over, Peugeot produced its 203 model only in 1948 (much time was needed to reconstruct the destroyed plants).
In 1966, the company began collaborating with Renault; in 1972 – with Volvo. In 1976, Peugeot consolidated with Citroën that resulted in establishing PSA Peugeot Citroën. While the compounds could use one another’s technologies, they remained free in designing their vehicles. In 1978, PSA Peugeot Citroën took over the European division of Chrysler.
Since 1997, the company has used water-based paint technology among other things, which significantly contributes to the environment pollution reduction.
In 1998, the Peugeot 206 was represented. It became the legendary bestseller, the champion in pace of sales over the company’s history. Peugeot has carried on traditions started in the distant 1900s and remained a trendsetter in the world’s automobile society. Today, Peugeot produces not only cars but also bicycles, motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters.
Peugeot has used a lion in different positions as its logo since the company began making steel tools in the XIX century. Strength and proud, which are associated with a lion, was planned to reflect high quality of the company’s products.
The first Peugeot’s logo, depicting a lion standing on an arrow, appeared in 1850 and was registered as a trademark in 1858. From 1948 till the 1960s, there was the heraldic lion on Peugeot’s logo, which is pictured on the coat of arms of the birthplace of the Peugeots, Franche-Comté.
In 1998, the logo was altered once again. Apart from changing the lion a little, it has been painted white against the blue background. Whether Peugeot logo will be changed again sometime, we’ll see.
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