Peugeot SA (Groupe PSA) history, profile and history video
Peugeot SA, formerly known as PSA Peugeot Citroën from 1991 to 2016, manufactures automobiles and light commercial vehicles. It produces motorbikes, scooters, hydraulic engines, vehicle components and provides after-sales service. The Peugeot operates through the following business segments: Automotive, Automotive Equipment, Transportation & Logistics, Finance, and Other Businesses. The Automotive segment engages in the designing, manufacturing and selling of cars and light commercial vehicles under the Peugeot and Citroen brands. The Automotive Equipment segment comprises interior systems, automotive seating, automotive exteriors and emissions control technologies. The Transportation & Logistics segment comprises logistics and vehicle & goods transportation. The Finance segment provides retail and wholesale financing to Peugeot and Citroen customers and dealers. The Other Businesses segment comprises mainly of the operations of Peugeot S.A. and Peugeot Motorcycles. The company was founded in 1896 and is headquartered in Paris, France.“
The Peugeot family of Valentigney, Montbéliard, Franche-Comté, France, began in the manufacturing business in the 18th century. In 1842, they added the production of coffee, pepper, and salt grinders. The company’s entry into the vehicle market was by means of crinoline dresses, which used steel rods, leading to umbrella frames, saw blades, wire wheels, and ultimately bicycles. Armand Peugeot introduced his “Le Grand Bi” penny-farthing in 1882, 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 examples were made. Steam power was heavy and bulky and required lengthy warmup times. In 1890, after meeting Gottlieb Daimler and Émile Levassor, steam was abandoned in favor of a four-wheeled car with a petrol-fuelled internal combustion engine built by Panhard under Daimler license. 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 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 (solid, rather than pneumatic) to a petrol-powered car that year.
Peugeot was an early pioneer in motor racing with Albert Lemaître winning the world’s first motor race, the 1894 Paris-Rouen race, in a 3 hp Peugeot. Five Peugeots qualified for the main event, and all finished. Lemaitre finished 3 minutes 30 seconds behind the Comte de Dion whose steam-powered car was ineligible for the official competition. Three Peugeots were entered in the 1895 Paris-Bordeaux where they were beaten by Panhard’s car (despite an average speed of 20.8 km/h (12.9 mph) and taking the 31,500 franc prize.This also marked the debut of Michelin pneumatic tires 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 8 hp (6.0 kW) horizontal twin fitted to the back of 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 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 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 5,850 cc (357 cu in) 20 hp (14.9 kW) racer.
At the 1901 Paris Salon, Peugeot debuted a tiny shaft-driven 652 cc (40 cu in) 5 hp (3.7 kW) 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 50 hp (37.3 kW) 11,322 cc (691 cu in) 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 5 hp (4 kW) Bébé, a 6.5 hp (4.8 kW) four-seater, and an 8 hp (6.0 kW) and 12 hp (8.9 kW) resembling contemporary Mercedes models.
The 1907 Salon showed Peugeot’s first six-cylinder, and marked Tony Huber joining as an engine builder. By 1910, Peugeot’s product line includes a 1,149 cc (70 cu in) two-cylinder and six four-cylinders, of between 2 liters 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 850 cc (52 cu in) 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 (110×200 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 68.45 mph (110.2 km/h), 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 75.92 mph (122.2 km/h), recording straightaway speeds of 93.5 mph (150.5 km/h). making Peugeot the first non-American-based auto company to win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 1914, Boillot’s 3-liter L5 set a new Indy lap record of 99.5 mph (160.1 km/h), and Duray placed second (beaten by ex-Peugeot ace René Thomas in a 6,235 cc (380 cu in)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 5,655 cc (345 cu in) 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 Mercedes’ rear-only), Georges proved unable to match them and the car broke down. (Surprisingly, a 1914 model turned a 103 mph (165.8 km/h) 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.
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 (120,000 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 Spa 24 Hours. Peugeot introduced a five-valve per cylinder, triple overhead cam engine for the Grand Prix, conceived by Marcel Gremillon (who had criticized the early DOHC); but the engine was a failure.
The same year, Peugeot debuted 10 hp (7.5 kW) and 14 hp (10.4 kW) fours, the larger based on the Type 153, and a 6-liter 25 hp (19 kW) sleeve valve six, as well as a new cyclecar, La Quadrilette.
During the 1920s, 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 Type 183.
- 1930 43,303
- 1931 33,322
- 1932 28,317
- Soon after the timely introduction of the Peugeot 201 theGreat Depression hit all the French auto-makers: Peugeot sales slumped but the company survived.
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 the independent front suspension in 1931, Soon afterward 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 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-liter402 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 to 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, Peugeot 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 in 1950, having already been required to acquire a controlling interest in Hotchkiss in 1942. A popular model introduced in 1955 was 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 1,618 cc (99 cu in) version of the 403 engine, tilted 45°. 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 such as the 504, one of Peugeot’s most distinctive models. Like many European manufacturers, collaboration with other firms increased; Peugeot worked with Renault from 1966 and Volvo from 1972.
Several Peugeot models were assembled in Australia, commencing with the 203 in 1953. These were followed by 403, 404 and 504 models with Australian assembly ending with the 505 in the early 1980s.
The takeover of Citroën and Chrysler Europe
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 Wankel 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 racing name Maserati, but disposed of it in May 1975.
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. Soon the whole Chrysler/Simca range was sold under the revived Talbot badge until the production of Talbot-branded passenger cars was shelved in 1987 and on commercial vehicles in 1992.
1980s and 1990s
In 1983 Peugeot launched the popular and successful Peugeot 205, which is largely credited for turning the company’s fortunes around.
As part of the Guangzhou Peugeot Automobile Company (GPAC) joint venture, Peugeot 504 and 505 were built in China from 1985 to 1997.
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 Peugeots in Ryton was significant, as it signaled 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, Peugeot’s U.S. and Canadian sales faltered and finally became uneconomical, as the Peugeot 505 design aged. For a time, distribution in the Canadian market was handled by Chrysler. 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, which caused the company to cease U.S. and Canada operations after 33 years. There are currently no known plans to return to the U.S. market. In 1997, just 6 years after pulling out of both US and Canadian markets, Peugeot returned to Mexico after a 36-year absence, under the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and Chile. Peugeot models (1992–present) cannot be bought or imported into the U.S. from Mexico.
2000s to present
On 18 April 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 206on 12 December 2006, and finally closed down in January 2007.
Peugeot is a long way off from its ambitious target of selling 4 million units annually by the end of the decade. In 2008 its sales stayed below the 2 million mark. In mid-2009, ‘adverse market and industry conditions’ were blamed for falls in sales and operating losses. Christian Streiff was replaced by Philippe Varin (CEO) and Jean-Pierre Ploue (Head Design) was transferred from his post at Citroen. In 2009, Peugeot returned to the Canadian market with the scooter brand only.
Peugeot still plans on developing new models to compete in segments where it currently does not compete. Collin claimed that the French automaker competed in 72% of market segments in 2007, but he wanted 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 RC Z sports-coupe. It is also pursuing government funding to develop a diesel-hybrid drivetrain, which might be key to its expansion.
By 2010 Peugeot planned on pursuing new markets, mainly in China, Russia and South America and in 2011 decided to re-enter the Indian market after 14 years with a new factory at Sanand, Gujarat, India.
Peugeot re-entered the Philippine market in 2012 after having a short presence in 2005 with distribution done by the Alvarez Group.
In March 2012, General Motors purchased a 7% share in Peugeot for 320 million euros as part of cooperation aimed at finding savings through joint purchasing and product development. In December 2013, GM sold its entire Peugeot stake, taking a loss of about 70 million euros.
In October 2013, Peugeot closed their production plant at Aulnay-sous-Bois as part of a restructuring plan to reduce overcapacity in the face of a shrinking domestic market. By December 2013, Chinese investors were rumored to be potential investors. In February 2014, the Peugeot family agreed to give up control of the company by reducing its holdings from 25% to 14%. As part of this agreement, Dongfeng Motors and the French government were each to buy 14% stakes in the company, creating three partners with equal voting rights. The board of directors was to be composed of 6 independent members, 2 representatives of each Dongfeng, the French State and the Peugeot family, and 2 members representing employees and employees shareholders. The French government took the view the deal did not require approval by Brussels as EU competition rules do not count public investment in a company on the same terms as a private investor as state aid. The equity participation by Dongfeng expanded an already-budding relationship with Peugeot. The pair at the time were jointly operating 3 car-manufacturing plants in China, with a capacity of producing 750,000 vehicles a year. In July 2014 the joint venture, Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën, disclosed they were building a fourth factory in China in Chengdu, in Sichuan province, targeting the manufacture of 300,000 sport-utility and multipurpose vehicles a year, starting towards the end of 2016.”
On 16 January 2021, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) and Groupe PSA completed a 50/50 merger that created a new holding company called Stellantis N.V.
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org
**Video published on YouTube by “PSAPEUGEOTCITROEN“