Peugeot

Peugeot

For the article about the bicycle manufacturer, see Cycles Peugeot.

Peugeot is a major French car brand, part of PSA Peugeot Citroën. It is the second largest automaker in Europe, behind Volkswagen. Peugeot's roots go back to pepper, salt and coffee mill manufacturing in 1842 and later bicycle manufacturing at the end of the 19th century. Its world headquarters are in Paris, Avenue de la Grande Armée, close to Porte Maillot and the Concorde Lafayette Hotel but the Peugeot company and family is originally from Sochaux, France. Peugeot retains a large manufacturing plant in Sochaux which is also home to the Musée de l'Aventure Peugeot. The company also sponsors the Sochaux football club, founded in 1928 by a member of the Peugeot family: the club' s arms contain a lion logo similar to Peugeot's.

The common French pronunciation of "Peugeot" is pøːʒo. In Spain, it is "peyot" (less often, "peuyot"). In England (where the cars are nicknamed 'pugs'), it is usually "PERzho", while Americans pronounce it /puːˈʒoʊ/ "pooZHO" or /ˈpjuːʒoʊ/ "PYOOzho". In Malta, some people pronounce "Peugeot" as "poo goo". In those parts of North Africa colonised by France—Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco—"Peugeot" is often pronounced in the same as "bijou" ("jewel"), both because of the sometimes indistinguishable quality of vowels in Arabic when translated into French, and through affection.

Company history

Early history

The Peugeot family of Valentigney, Montbéliard, Franche-Comté, France, began manufacturing coffee grinders in the 1800s. Although the Peugeot factory had been in the manufacturing business since the 1700s, the company's entry into the world of wheeled vehicles was by means of crinoline dresses, which used steel rods, leading to umbrella frames, wire wheels, and ultimately bicycles. Armand Peugeot introduced his "Le Grand Bi" penny-farthing in 1882 and along with a range of other bicycles. Peugeot bicycles continued to be built until very recently, although the car company and bike company parted ways in 1926.

Armand Peugeot became interested in the automobile early on, and after meeting with Gottlieb Daimler and others, was convinced of its viability. The first Peugeot automobile (a three-wheeled steam-powered car designed by Léon Serpollet) was produced in 1889; only four were made. Steam power was heavy and bulky and required lengthy warmup times. In 1890, after meeting Gottlieb Daimler and Emile Levassor, steam was abandoned in favour of a four-wheeled car with a petrol-fuelled internal combustion engine built by Panhard under Daimler licence. The car was more sophisticated than many of its contemporaries, with a three-point suspension and a sliding-gear transmission.

More cars followed, twenty-nine being built in 1892, forty in 1894, seventy-two in 1895, 156 in 1898, and fully three hundred in 1899. These early models were given "Type" numbers with the Type 12, for example, dating from 1895. Peugeot became the first manufacturer to fit rubber tires to a petrol-powered car that year (solid tires). Peugeot was also an early pioneer in motor racing, entering the 1894 Paris-Rouen Rally with five cars (placing second, third {Pierre Giffard, who had conceived the trial}, and fifth {Koechlin}) and the 1895 Paris-Bordeaux with three, where they were beaten by Panhard's car (despite an average speed of and taking the 31,500 franc prize. This also marked the debut of Michelin pneumatic tyres in racing, also on a Peugeot; they proved insufficiently durable. Nevertheless, the vehicles were still very much horseless carriages in appearance and were steered by a tiller.

1896 saw the first Peugeot engines built; no longer were they reliant on Daimler. Designed by Rigoulot, the first engine was an horizontal twin fitted to the back of the Type 15. It also served as the basis of a nearly exact copy produced by Rochet-Schneider. Further improvements followed: the engine moved to the front on the Type 48 and was soon under a hood (bonnet) at the front of the car, instead of hidden underneath; the steering wheel was adopted on the Type 36; and they began to look more like the modern car.

In 1896 Armand Peugeot broke away from Les Fils de Peugeot Frères to form his own company, Société Anonyme des Automobiles Peugeot, building a new factory at Audincourt to focus entirely on cars. In 1899, sales hit 300; total car sales for all of France that year were 1200. The same year, Lemaitre won the Nice-Castellane-Nice Rally in a special racer.

At the 1901 Paris Salon, Peugeot debuted a tiny shaft-driven one-cylinder, dubbed Bébé (Baby), and shed its conservative image, becoming a style leader. After placing nineteenth in the 1902 Paris-Vienna rally with a racer, and failing to finish with two similar cars, Peugeot quit racing.

Peugeot added a motorcycle to its range in 1903, and motorcycles have been built under the Peugeot name ever since. By 1903, Peugeot produced half of the cars built in France, and they offered the Bébé, a four-seater, and an and resembling contemporary Mercedes models.

The 1907 Salon showed Peugeot's first six-cylinder, and marked Tony Huber joining as engine builder. By 1910, Peugeot's product line included a two-cylinder and six four-cylinders, of between 2 litres and 6 liters. In addition, a new factory opened the same year at Sochaux, which became the main plant in 1928.

A more famous name, Ettore Bugatti, designed the new four-cylinder Bébé of 1912. The same year, Peugeot returned to racing with a team of three driver-engineers (a breed typical of the pioneer period, exemplified by Enzo Ferrari among others): Jules Goux (graduate of Arts et Metiers, Paris), Paolo Zuccarelli (formerly of Hispano-Suiza), and Georges Boillot (collectively called Les Charlatans), with 26 year old Swiss engineer Ernest Henry to make their ideas reality. The company decided voiturette (light car) racing was not enough, and chose to try grandes épreuves (grand touring). They did so with an engineering tour de force: a DOHC 7.6 liter four cylinder (110x200 mm) with four valves per cylinder. It proved faster than other cars of its time, and Boillot won the 1912 French Grand Prix at an average of , despite losing third gear and taking a twenty minute pit stop. In May 1913, Goux took one to Indianapolis, and won at an average of , recording straightaway speeds of . In 1914, Boillot's 3 liter L5 set a new Indy lap record of , and Duray placed second (beaten by ex-Peugeot ace Réné Thomas in a Delage). Another (driven by Boillot's brother, André) placed in 1915; similar models won in 1916 (Dario Resta) and 1919 (Howdy Wilcox).

For the 1913 French Grand Prix, an improved L5 (with engine) was produced with a pioneering ballbearing crankshaft, gear-driven camshafts, and dry sump lubrication, all of which soon became standard on racing cars; unfortunately, Zuccarelli was killed during testing on public roads, but Boillot easily won the event, making him (and Peugeot) the race's first double winner. For the 1914 French GP, Peugeot was overmatched by Mercedes, and despite a new innovation, four-wheel brakes (against the Benz's rear-only), Georges proved unable to match them and the car broke down. (Surprisingly, a 1914 model turned a lap in practice at Indy in 1949, yet it failed to qualify.) Peugeot was more fortunate in 1915, winning at the French GP and Vanderbilt Cup.

During the First World War, Peugeot turned largely to arms production, becoming a major manufacturer of arms and military vehicles, from bicycles to tanks and shells.

Inter-war years

Postwar, car production resumed in earnest.

Racing continued as well, with Boillot entering the 1919 Targa Florio in a 2.5 liter (150ci) car designed for an event pre-empted by World War One; the car had 200,000 km (124,000 mi) on it, yet Boillot won with an impressive drive (the best of his career) Peugeots in his hands were third in the 1925 Targa, first in the 1922 and 1925 Coppa Florios, first in the 1923 and 1925 Touring Car Grands Prix, and first at the 1926 24 Heures du Spa. Peugeot introduced a five valve per cylinder, triple overhead cam engine for the Grand Prix, conceived by Marcel Gremillon (who had criticised the early DOHC); but the engine was a failure.

The same year, Peugeot debuted and fours, the larger based on the Type 153, and a 6 liter sleeve valve six, as well as a new cyclecar, La Quadrilette.

During the '20s, Peugeot expanded, in 1926 splitting the cycle (pedal and motor) business off to form Cycles Peugeot, the consistently profitable cycle division seeking to free itself from the rather more cyclical auto business, and taking over the defunct Bellanger and De Dion companies in 1927. 1928 saw the introduction of the Type 183.

New for 1929 was the Peugeot 201, the cheapest car on the French market, and the first to use the later Peugeot trademark (and registered as such)—three digits with a central zero. The 201 would get independent front suspension in 1931, Soon afterwards the Depression hit; Peugeot sales decreased but the company survived.

In 1933, attempting a revival of fortune, the company unveiled a new, aerodynamically styled range. In 1934 Peugeot introduced the 402 BL Éclipse Décapotable, the first convertible with a retractable hardtop — an idea followed later by the Ford Skyliner in the 1950s and revived in the modern era by the Mitsubishi 3000GT Spyder in 1995. More recently, many manufacturers have offered retractable hardtops, including Peugeot itself with the 206 cc.

Three interesting models of the thirties were the Peugeot 202, Peugeot 302 and Peugeot 402. These cars had curvaceous bodies, with headlights behind sloping grille bars, evidently inspired by the Chrysler Airflow. The 2.1 liter 402 entered production in 1935 and was produced until the end of 1941, despite France's occupation by the Nazis. For 1936, there was the new Airflow-inspired 302 (which ran until 1938) and a 402-based large model, designed by Andrean, which featured a vertical fin and bumper, with the first high-mounted taillight. The entry-level 202 was built in series from 1938-1942, and about 20 more examples were built from existing stocks of supplies in February 1945. The 202 lifted Peugeot's sales in 1939 to 52,796, just behind Citroën. Regular production began again in mid-1946, and lasted into 1949.

Post World War II

In 1946, the company restarted car production with the 202, delivering 14000 copies. In 1947, Peugot introduced the Peugeot 203, with coil springs, rack-and-pinion steering, and hydraulic brakes. The 203 set new Peugeot sales records, remaining in production until 1960.

Peugeot would take over Chenard-Walcker and buy a part of Hotchkiss in 1950, then introduce a popular model in 1955: the Peugeot 403. With a 1.5 liter engine, it sold one million copies by the end of its production run in 1962,

The company began selling cars in the United States in 1958, and in 1960 introduced the Peugeot 404, which used a version of the 403 engine, tilted 45o. The 404 proved rugged enough to win the East African Safari Rally, in four of the six years between 1963 and 1968.

More models followed, many styled by Pininfarina. Like many European manufacturers, collaboration with other firms increased; Peugeot worked with Renault from 1966 and Volvo from 1972.

Take over of Citroën and formation of PSA

In 1974 Peugeot bought a 30% share of Citroën, and took it over completely in 1975 after the French government gave large sums of money to the new company. Citroën was in financial trouble because it developed too many radical new models for its financial resources. Some of them, notably the Citroën SM and the Comotor rotary engine venture proved unprofitable. Others, the Citroën CX and Citroën GS for example, proved very successful in the marketplace.

The joint parent company became the PSA (Peugeot Société Anonyme) group, which aimed to keep separate identities for both the Peugeot and Citroën brands, while sharing engineering and technical resources. Peugeot thus briefly controlled the valuable racing brand name Maserati, but disposed of it in May 1975 out of short term financial concerns.

Both Citroën enthusiasts and automotive journalists point out that the company's innovation and flair took a marked downturn with the acquisition. The Citroën brand has continued to be successful in terms of sales, and now achieves over a million units annually.

Take over of Chrysler Europe

The group then took over the European division of Chrysler (which were formerly Rootes and Simca), in 1978 as the American auto manufacturer struggled to survive. Further investment was required because PSA decided to create a new brand for the entity, based on the Talbot sports car last seen in the 1950s. From then on, the whole Chrysler/Simca range was sold under the Talbot badge until production of Talbot-branded passenger cars was shelved in 1986.

The flagship of this short-lived brand was the Tagora, a direct competitor to PSA's 604 and CX models. This was a large, angular saloon based on Peugeot 505 mechanicals.

1980s and beyond

All of this investment caused serious financial problems for the entire PSA group; PSA lost money from 1980 to 1985. The Peugeot takeover of Chrysler Europe had seen the aging Chrysler Sunbeam, Horizon, Avenger and Alpine ranges rebranded as Talbots. There were also new Talbots in the early 1980s—the Solara (a saloon version of the Alpine hatchback), and the Samba (a small hatchback to replace the Sunbeam).

In 1983 Peugot launched the popular and successful Peugeot 205, which is largely credited for turning the company's fortunes around.

In 1984 PSA developed its first contacts with The People's Republic of China, resulting in the successful Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën Automobile venture in Wuhan.

In 1986, the company dropped the Talbot brand for passenger cars when it ceased production of the Simca-based Horizon/Alpine/Solara models. What was to be called the Talbot Arizona became the 309, with the former Rootes plant in Ryton and Simca plant in Poissy being turned over for Peugeot assembly. Producing Peugots in Ryton was significant, as it signalled the very first time Peugeots would be built in Britain. The Talbot name survived for a little longer on commercial vehicles until 1992 before being shelved completely.

As experienced by other European volume car makers, Peugot's U.S. and Canadian sales faltered and finally became uneconomical, as the Peugeot 505 design aged. Several ideas to turn around sales in the United States, such as including the Peugeot 205 in its lineup, were considered but not pursued. In the early nineties, the newly introduced Peugeot 405 proved uncompetitive with domestic and import models in the same market segment, and sold less than 1,000 units. Total sales fell to 4,261 units in 1990 and 2,240 through July, 1991. This caused the company to cease U.S. And Canada operations after 33 years. There are currently no known plans to return to the American market.

Peugeot currently sells vehicles in Mexico. Peugeot Mexico

Beginning in the late 1990s, with Jean-Martin Folz as president of PSA, the Peugeot-Citroën combination seems to have found a better balance. Savings in costs are no longer made to the detriment of style.

On April 18, 2006, PSA Peugeot Citroën announced the closure of the Ryton manufacturing facility in Coventry, England. This announcement resulted in the loss of 2,300 jobs as well as about 5,000 jobs in the supply chain. The plant produced its last Peugeot 206 on December 12 2006 and finally closed down in January 2007.

Peugeot is developing a diesel-electric hybrid version of the Peugeot 307 that can reach 80 mpg. It is a 2-door cabriolet and is currently only in the concept stages, but if it reaches production would be one of the more fuel efficient cars available..

Peugeot is a long way off from its ambitious target of selling 4 million units annually by the end of the decade. This year its sales projects put it at 2 million, but chief executive Jean-Philippe Collin has a plan in place to reach the targets set out by parent company PSA.

The plan involves expansion on two fronts. Firstly, Peugeot plans on developing new models to compete in segments where it currently does not compete. Collin figures the French automaker currently competes in 72% of market segments, but wants to get that figure up to 90%. Despite Peugeot's sportscar racing program, the company is not prepared to build a pure sportscar any more hardcore than the upcoming 308 RC Z sports-coupe. It is pursuing government funding to develop a diesel-hybrid drivetrain, however, which might be key to its expansion.

Peugeot is also planning on pursuing new markets, namely in China, Russia and South America. However, while a return to the North American market is being considered, especially in light of the weak American dollar, Collin maintains that such a move would still be several years off.

Motorsports

Early

Peugeot was involved in motorsport from the earliest days and entered five cars for the Paris-Rouen Trials in 1894 with one of them, driven by Lemaitre, finishing second. These trials are usually regarded as the first motor sporting competition. Participation in a variety of events continued until World War I, but it was in 1912 that Peugeot made its most notable contribution to motor sporting history when one of their cars, driven by Georges Boillot, won the French Grand Prix at Dieppe. This revolutionary car was powered by a straight-4 engine designed by Ernest Henry under the guidance of the technically knowledgeable racing drivers Paul Zuccarelli and Georges Boillot. The design was very influential for racing engines as it featured for the first time DOHC and four valves per cylinder providing for high engine speeds, a radical departure from previous racing engines which relied on huge displacement for power. In 1913 Peugeots of similar design to the 1912 Grand Prix car won the French Grand Prix at Amiens and the Indianapolis 500. When one of the Peugeot racers remained in the United States during World War I and parts could not be acquired from France for the 1914 season, owner Bob Burma had it serviced in the shop of Harry Miller by a young mechanic named Fred Offenhauser. Their familiarity with the Peugeot engine was the basis of the famed Miller racing engine, which later developed into the Offenhauser.

Rallying

Peugeot has had much success in international rallying, most notably in the World Rally Championship with the four-wheel-drive turbo-charged versions of the Peugeot 205, and more recently the Peugeot 206. In 1981, Jean Todt, former co-driver for Hannu Mikkola, Timo Mäkinen and Guy Fréquelin among others, was asked by Jean Boillot, the head of Automobiles Peugeot, to create a competition department for PSA Peugeot Citroën. The resulting Peugeot Talbot Sport debuted its Group B 205 Turbo 16 at the 1984 Tour de Corse in May, and took its first world rally win that same year at the 1000 Lakes Rally in August, in the hands of Ari Vatanen. Excluding an endurance rally where Peugeot were not participating, Vatanen went on win five world rallies in a row.

Peugeot's domination continued in the 1985 season. Despite Vatanen's nearly fatal accident in Argentina, in the middle of the season, his team-mate and compatriot Timo Salonen led Peugeot to its first drivers' and manufacturers' world championship titles, well ahead of Audi and their Audi Sport Quattro. In the 1986 season, Vatanen's young replacement Juha Kankkunen beat Lancia's Markku Alén to the drivers' title and Peugeot took its second manufacturers' title ahead of Lancia. Following FIA's banning of Group B cars for 1987, in May after Henri Toivonen's fatal accident, Todt was outraged and even (unsuccessfully) pursued legal action against the federation. Peugeot then switched to rally raids. Using the 205 and a 405, Peugeot won the Dakar Rally four times in a row from 1987 to 1990; three times with Vatanen and once with Kankkunen.

In 1999, Peugeot returned to the World Rally Championship with the 206 WRC. The car was immediately competitive against such opposition as the Subaru Impreza WRC, the Ford Focus WRC and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Marcus Grönholm gave the car its first win at the 2000 Swedish Rally, and Peugeot went on to win the manufacturers' title in their first full year since the return, and Grönholm the drivers' title in his first full WRC season. After successfully but narrowly defending their manufacturers' title in 2001, Peugeot Sport dominated the 2002 season, taking eight wins in the hands of Grönholm and Gilles Panizzi. Grönholm also took the drivers' title. For the 2004 season, Peugeot retired the 206 WRC in favour of the new 307 WRC. The 307 WRC did not match its predecessor in success, but Grönholm took three wins with the car, one in 2004 and two in 2005. PSA Peugeot Citroën withdrew Peugeot and Citroën from the WRC after the 2005 season.

Touring car racing

Throughout the mid-1990s, the Peugeot 406 saloon (called a sedan in some countries) contested touring car championships across the world, enjoying success in France, Germany and Australia, yet failing to win a single race in the British Touring Car Championship despite a number of podium finishes under the command of 1992 British Touring Car Champion Tim Harvey.

The British cars were prepared by Prodrive in 1996, when they sported a red livery, and by MSD in 1997-1998, when they wore a distinctive green and gold flame design. Initially the 406's lack of success was blamed on suspension problems, but it is now clear that the team was underfunded and the engine lacked power.

In 2001, Peugeot entered three 406 coupes into the British touring car championship to compete with the dominant Vauxhall Astra coupes. Unfortunately the 406 coupe was at the end of its product life-cycle and was not competitive, despite some promise towards the end of the year, notably when Peugeot's Steve Soper led a race only to suffer engine failure in the last few laps. The 406 coupes were retired at the end of the year and replaced with the Peugeot 307—again, uncompetitively—in 2002.

Sports car racing

In the 1990s the company competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours race, winning in 1992 and 1993 with the 905. After early problems with reliability and aerodynamics, the 905 was also successful in the World Sportscar Championship, winning eight of the 14 races across the 1991 and 1992 seasons and winning the team and driver titles in 1992. Peugeot returned to sportscar racing and Le Mans in 2007, with the diesel-powered 908. At the 2007 Le Mans 24hrs, Stephane Sarrazin secured pole position but the cars proved unreliable and ceded victory to Audi. In 2008, the Sarrazin / Alex Wurz / Pedro Lamy car again started from pole position and despite being the fastest car in the race, the lead Peugeot 908 was delayed by technical problems and Audi prevailed once again. the sister 908s of Marc Gene / Nicolas Minassian / Jacques Villeneuve and Franck Montagny / Ricardo Zonta / Christian Klien finished 2nd and 3rd respectively, with the Sarrazin /Wurz / Lamy car recovering to 5th place. Peugeot previously also supplied engines to the Courage C60 Le Mans team.

Formula One

The company has also been involved in providing engines to Formula One teams, notably to McLaren in 1994, to Jordan for the 1995, 1996 and 1997 seasons, and to Prost for the 1998, 1999 and 2000 seasons. Peugeot's F1 interests were sold to Asiatech at the end of the 2000 season.

Peugeot model numbers

Peugeot chooses the names used on its models in the form x0y or x00y, where x describes the size of the car (and hence its class) and y describes the model number (the higher the number, the newer the model). Thus a Peugeot 406 is bigger and newer than a Peugeot 305. This rule has its exceptions: for instance the Peugeot 309 was produced before the Peugeot 306—the out-of-step number signified the 309's Talbot underpinnings rather than it coming from a Peugeot lineage. Variants are also excluded: the 206 SW, for example, is about the same length as a "40y" car.

This tradition began in 1929 with the launch of the 201, which followed the 190. All numbers from 101 to 909 have been deposited as trademarks. Although in 1963 Porsche was forced to change the name of its new 901 coupé to 911, certain Ferraris and Bristols have been allowed to keep their Peugeot-style model numbers. An unsubstantiated explanation for the central '0' is that on early models the number appeared on a plate on the front of the car, with the hole for the starting handle coinciding with the zero. More recently, on the 307 cc and the 607 the button to open the trunk is located in the '0' of the label.

For specific niche models such as minivans or SUVs, Peugeot is now using a four digit system, with a double zero in the middle. It was tested with the 4002 concept car. The 1007 used this system when it was launched in 2005, and the new Peugeot Crossover SUV is named 4007.

Peugeot has also announced that after the 9 series, it would start again with 1, producing new 201, 301 or 401.

Peugeot has produced three winners of the European Car of the Year award.

1969: Peugeot 504
1988: Peugeot 405
2002: Peugeot 307

Other Peugeot models have come in either second or third in the contest.

1980: Peugeot 505
1984: Peugeot 205
1996: Peugeot 406
1999: Peugeot 206

Other products

Peugeot also produced bicycles starting in 1882 in Beaulieu, France (with ten Tour de France wins between 1903 and 1983) followed by motorcycles and cars in 1889. In the late 1980s Peugeot sold the North American rights to the Peugeot bicycle name to ProCycle in Canada (also known as CCM and better known for its ice hockey equipment) and the European rights to Cycleurope S.A.

Peugeot remains a major producer of scooters, underbones, mopeds and bicycles in Europe.

Vehicle models

Numbers

Concept cars

Others

Alternative propulsion

Peugeot PROLOGUE HYmotion4 includes the HDi FAP hybrid technology called “HYmotion4” including four-wheel drive, with a diesel engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor powering the rear wheels .

In pop culture

A Peugeot was the first reported car theft in history. In Paris, France, in June 1896, a Peugeot owned by Baron de Zuylen was stolen by his mechanic while undergoing repairs.

See also

References

External links

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