- For the article about the bicycle manufacturer, see Peugeot (bicycles).
|Founded||1810 as a coffee mill company
1830 as a bicycle manufacturer
1882 as a car manufacturer
1898 as a motorcycle company
1926 as a separate company
|Headquarters||Legal and Top level Administrative: Ave de la Grande Armée, Paris
Operational: Sochaux, France
|Key people||Philippe Varin (CEO)
Jean-Pierre Ploue (Head of Design)
|Products||Automobiles, Commercial Vehicles, Luxury Cars|
|Production output||1,739,000 (2009)|
|Net income||€819 million (first half 2012)|
|Employees||198,210 (2010) PSA PEUGEOT CITROËN|
|Parent||PSA Peugeot Citroën (Peugeot S.A.)|
The family business that preceded the current Peugeot company was founded in 1810, and manufactured coffee mills and bicycles. On 20 November 1858, Emile Peugeot applied for the lion trademark. Armand Peugeot built the concern's first car, an unreliable steam tricycle, in collaboration with Leon Serpollet in 1889; this was followed in 1890 by an internal combustion car with a Panhard-Daimler engine. Due to family discord, Armand Peugeot in 1896 founded the Société des Automobiles Peugeot.
The Peugeot company and family are originally from Sochaux, France. Peugeot retains a large manufacturing plant and Peugeot Museum there. In February 2014, the shareholders agreed to a recapitalisation plan, under which Dongfeng Motors and the French government were each to buy a 14% stake in the company.
Peugeot has received many international awards for its vehicles including four European Car of the Year awards, two Car of the Year awards in Ireland, five Car of the Year awards in Italy, and nine Car of the Year awards in Spain. Peugeot has an impressive history in motor sport for more than a century. Peugeot Sport won the World Rally Championship five times, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup twice (2010, 2011), surpassing Toyota and Audi, the World Endurance Championship twice (1992, 1993), and the Intercontinental Rally Challenge Championship three times. During the last year, Peugeot Sport has surpassed the record set in the ascent to Pikes Peak with the Peugeot 208 T16 driven by Sebastien Loeb, and got a triple victory of the Peugeot 208 GTi in its class at the Nürburgring 24 hours race. In 2015, Peugeot will return to the Dakar Rally after its four victories in the 1980s.
- 1 Early history
- 2 Interwar years
- 3 After World War II
- 4 Takeover of Citroën and Chrysler Europe
- 5 1980s and 1990s
- 6 2000s to present
- 7 Factories
- 8 Vehicles
- 9 Motorsport
- 10 Peugeot Avenue
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The Peugeot family of Valentigney, Montbéliard, Franche-Comté, France, began in the manufacturing business in the 18th century. In 1842, they added 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 Daimler and Émile 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, 29 being built in 1892, 40 in 1894, 72 in 1895, 156 in 1898, and 300 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 tyres (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 min 30 sec 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 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.
In 1896, the first Peugeot engines were 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 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.
Also 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 19th 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 motorcycles to its range in 1903, and they 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 engine builder. By 1910, Peugeot's product line included a 1,149 cc (70 cu in) two-cylinder and six four-cylinders, of between 2 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 (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 68.45 mph (110.2 km/h), despite losing third gear and taking a 20-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.
Paris-Rouen 1894. Albert Lemaître (pictured on left) was classified 1st in his Peugeot 3hp. Bicycle manufacturer Adolphe Clément-Bayard was the front passenger.
Peugeot Type 125 a midrange car produced in 1910
After the war, car production resumed in earnest. Racing continued as well, with Boillot entering the 1919 Targa Florio in a 2.5-liter (150-in3) car designed for an event pre-empted by World War I; 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 criticised the early DOHC), but the engine was a failure.
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. In 1928, the Type 183 was introduced.
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 models of the '30s 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, the new Airflow-inspired 302 (which ran until 1938) and a 402-based large model, designed by Andrean, 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.
Peugeot Type 163 produced from 1919 to 1924
Experimental Peugeot-Kégresse track armoured car being tested in 1923
Peugeot Type 177 produced from 1924 to 1929
After 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 took 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, famously including one driven by TV detective Columbo.
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.
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 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. The 205 was regularly the best selling car in France, and was also very popular in other parts of Europe, including Britain, where sales regularly topped 50,000 a year by the late 1980s.
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 signalled the first time Peugeots would be built in Britain. The 309 was the first Peugeot-badged hatchback of its size, and sold well across Europe.
The 405 saloon was launched in 1987 to compete with the likes of the Ford Sierra, and was voted European Car of the Year. This, too, was a very popular car across Europe, and continued to be available in Africa and Asia after it was replaced by the 406 nearly a decade later.
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 '90s, 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. Currently no plans to return to the U.S. market are known. 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 206 on 12 December 2006, and finally closed down in January 2007.
Peugeot is a long way 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 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.
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 a 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 rumoured 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 six independent members, two representatives of each Dongfeng, the French state and the Peugeot family, and two 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 three 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.
- PSA plants
- France (PSA Poissy Plant): 206 Plus, 208, 1007
- France (PSA Mulhouse Plant): 206 Plus, 208, 308
- France (PSA Sochaux Plant): 308, 3008, 5008
- France (PSA Rennes Plant): 508
- Argentina (Buenos Aires): 206 Plus (aka 207), 308, 408
- Brazil (Porto Real): 206 Plus (aka 207), 206 Plus Sedan (aka 207 Passion), Hoggar, 208
- Portugal (Mangualde): Partner Origin
- Slovakia (PSA Trnava Plant): 208
- Spain (Madrid): 207 Plus, 207 CC
- Spain (PSA Vigo Plant): Partner, 301
- Joint venture and outsourced plants
- Austria (Graz under contract by Magna Steyr): RCZ
- China (Wuhan), joint venture Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroën: 206 Plus, 307, 308, 408, 508
- Czech Republic (Kolín), Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech: 107, 108
- France (joint venture Sevel Nord near Valenciennes): Expert
- Iran (Tehran) Iran Khodro: 206, 206 Sedan, 207 Passion, 405
- Italy (Val di Sangro), joint venture Sevel: Boxer
- Japan, (Mizushima) under contract by Mitsubishi Motors: iOn
- Malaysia (Gurun, Kedah) assembly under contract to Naza Automotive Manufacturing: 308, 3008, 408, 508
- Russia (Kaluga), joint venture Peugeot Citroen Mitsubishi Automotiv: 4007, 408
- Turkey (Bursa), under contract by Tofaş: Bipper
European Car of the Year
Peugeot has produced four winners of the European Car of the Year award.
Four other Peugeot models got either second or third in the contest.
Semperit Irish Car of the Year award
Peugeot has produced two Car of the Year award winners in Ireland since 1978. It is judged by the Irish Motoring Writers Association (IMWA).
Car of the Year award in Italy
Peugeot S.A. has produced four 'Car of the Year 'Auto Europa' award winners in Italy in 28 years, since 1987. 'Auto Europa' is the prize awarded by the jury of the Italian Union of Automotive Journalists (UIGA), which annually celebrates the best car produced at least at 10 000 units in the 27 countries of the European Union, and sold between September and August the previous year.
Car of the Year award in Spain
Peugeot S.A. has produced nine Car of the year award winners in Spain in 40 years, since 1974.
- 104, 106, 107, 108
- 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 206, 207, 208
- 301, 302, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309
- 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 408
- 504, 505, 508
- 601, 604, 605, 607
- 806, 807
- 905, 908
- 1007, 2008, 3008, 4007, 4008, 5008
- Hoggar (Pick up designed and manufactured in Brazil since 2010)
- Pars (also known as Persia)
- RCZ (2010)
- Type 15
Electric and hybrid vehicles
Peugeot presented a new concept hybrid electric sports sedan at the 2008 Paris Motor Show called the Peugeot RC HYmotion4. Similar to the drivetrain model used in the upcoming Chevrolet Volt, the RC concept promises the ability to run solely on electric power for extended periods, with a hybrid electric powertrain filling in the gaps when extra range is needed The RC HYmotion4 includes a 70-kW electric motor at the front wheels. The Peugeot Prologue HYmotion4 was also shown at the 2008 Paris show and is in many ways the opposite of the RC HYmotion4 concept. The Prologue puts the internal combustion engine up front and runs on diesel instead of gasoline, with the electric motor going at the back.
Peugeot Motorcycles company remains a major producer of scooters, underbones, mopeds, and bicycles in Europe. Peugeot produced an electric motor scooter, the Peugeot Scoot'Elec, from 1996 to 2006, and is projected to re-enter the market in 2011 with the E-Vivacity.
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, a Canadian company which also sold bicycles under the CCM and Velo Sport names. The European rights were briefly sold to Cycleurope S.A., returning to Peugeot in the 1990s.
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 in 1912, 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.
Peugeot Sport is one of the most successful winners in rallying, with also Citroën Racing (eight-time WRC winner), by winning five times the World Rally Championship Manufacturer's Title and four times the Dakar Rally.
Peugeot's East African importers had a very impressive record in rallying in the 1960s - Nick Nowicki and Paddy Cliff won the East African Safari in 1963 with a Marshall's-entered 404 sedan. In 1966 and 1967, Tanganyika Motors in Tanzania entered the winning 404 Injection sedan, piloted by the late Bert Shanlkand and Chris Rothwell. They might have won again in 1968, but while in second place, their engine blew and ultimately Nick Nowicki and Paddy Cliff upheld Peugeot's honour by winning the rally. Peugeot also won the Safari Rally in 1975 (Andersson in a 504 Injection sedan) and in 1978 (Nicolas in a 504 Coupé V6), both cars being factory team entries.
Peugeot also had further 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, established at Bois de Boulogne near Paris, 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 from the WRC after the 2005 season, while Citroën took a sabbatical year in 2006 and returned for the next season. Meanwhile, Gronholm departed Peugeot when they quit at the end of 2005 to partner young compatriot Mikko Hirvonen at Ford.
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. In Gran Turismo 2 the 406 saloon description sums its racing career up as "a competitive touring car which raced throughout Europe".
The British cars were prepared by a team from Peugeot UK's factory in Coventry in 1996, when they sported a red livery, and by MSD in 1997–98, when they wore a distinctive green and gold-flame design. Initially the 406's lack of success was blamed on suspension problems. During 1998 the 406 apparently lacked sufficient horsepower to compete with the front runners' Nissan Primeras and Honda Accords; this was mentioned during a particularly strong showing from Harvey's 406 at the Oulton Park BTCC meeting of 1998, when motorsport commentator Charlie Cox stated "some people say (the 406) is down on power – you're kidding". During the first BTCC meeting at Silverstone in the same year, Cox mentions that MSD re-designed the 406 touring car "from the ground up".
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 following year and replaced with the Peugeot 307—again, uncompetitively—in 2003.
Peugeot has been racing in the Stock Car Brasil series since 2007 and won the 2008, 2009 and 2011 championships.
Peugeot has been racing quite successfully in the Danish Touring Car Championship, with both the 306 and 307.
Sports car racing
In the 1990s the company competed in endurance racing, including the World Sportscar Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans race with the 905. The sportscar team was established at Vélizy-Villacoublay, France. After early problems with reliability and aerodynamics, the 905 was 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 also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1992 and 1993.
Peugeot returned to sportscar racing and Le Mans in 2007 with the diesel-powered Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. At the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans, Stéphane Sarrazin secured pole position but the 908s proved unreliable and ceded victory to Audi. In 2008, the Sarrazin again earned a pole position but Audi prevailed once again. For the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs finished first and second overall, led by drivers Marc Gené, David Brabham, and Alexander Wurz.
Pike's Peak Hillclimb
In April 2013, a 208 T16 was tested by Sébastien Loeb at Mont Ventoux. Loosely based on the shape and design of the production 208, the T16 is a lightweight 875 kg (1,929 lb) vehicle that uses the rear wing from the Peugeot 908, and has a 3.2-litre, twin-turbo V6 engine, developing 875 bhp (652 kW; 887 PS) with the aim of competing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. 30 June 2013 saw this car demolish the standing record on Pikes Peak by over a minute and a half, with an overall time of 8:13.878.
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 has flagship dealerships, named Peugeot Avenue, located on the Champs Elysees in Paris, and in Berlin. The Berlin showroom is larger than the Paris one, but both feature regularly changing mini-exhibitions displaying production and concept cars. Both also feature a small Peugeot Boutique, and they are popular places for Peugeot fans to visit. Peugeot Avenue Berlin also features a café, called Café de France. The Peugeot Avenue at Berlin closed in 2009.
- French bicycle industry
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